AquaBlok Releases Guidance Specification for Composite Bentonite Aggregate in Below Ground Pipe and Infrastructure Construction or Repair Applications
AquaBlok, Ltd. has recently released a guidance specification for the use of Composite Bentonite Aggregate (CBA) in the construction of trench dams (anti-seep collars) to prevent seepage and erosion that can cause damage to critical infrastructure. Trench dams or anti-seep collars are an important measure in the construction of underground utility piping, storm drainage, water control structures and dams and levees to block underground flow of water through voids and poorly compacted soil. Without them, soil or aggregate bedding/backfill is susceptible to internal erosion, or “piping” caused by flowing water on the outside of a pipe, culvert, or other conduit, resulting in severe damage and potential failure of constructed infrastructure.
AquaBlok is a unique, Composite Bentonite Aggregate system that is composed of small stones coated with powdered sodium bentonite using a proprietary adhesive binder. When placed in buried applications, the bentonite coating swells upon hydration, filling in the voids of the stone in a self-compacting fashion to create a low-permeability barrier. Hydrated AquaBlok has proven to be effective as a capping material for the remediation of polluted sediments in waterways, as well as an effective method to seal leaks in geotechnical applications.
Using a simple wooden or metal form, AquaBlok can be poured directly into a trench or cutoff wall, oriented perpendicular to the direction of flow. No mechanical compaction is necessary, and once hydrated, the AquaBlok provides impressive performance in mitigating seepage. Using AquaBlok as a trench dam material is safer and easier to install than natural clay or sand-cement mixtures that require mixing and compaction around complex shapes (such as pipe walls). AquaBlok can also be a substantial cost savings over concrete collars and can avoid cracking and damage from settlement and seismic loading.
The guidance specification provides criteria for materials and execution for intended performance of the CBA in trench dam applications. The specification is compatible with the Construction Specification Institute’s (CSI) MasterFormat for ease of use in construction documents. The specification is non-proprietary, and conducive for use in public bidding projects that require an “or equal” provision for specific materials. The specification document can be downloaded directly from the AquaBlok website.
About AquaBlok, Ltd.
Headquartered in Swanton, OH, AquaBlok, Ltd. is a manufacturer of composite (clay-based) materials utilizing proprietary coating and amendment approaches. The company has a long history in the environmental industry with a range of products utilized in sediment remediation technologies. AquaBlok also specializes in products for geotechnical applications, including trench dams and anti-seep collars, cutoff trenches for hydraulic barriers, dam and levee fortification, pond and irrigation channel lining and sealing, and repairs of structures, pipes, wildlife damage, and sinkholes.