In-Situ Permeability Testing For Cement-Bentonite Cutoff Wall ? Lessons Learned

Bernardeau, François G.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
Cement-bentonite (C-B) slurry walls have been used for ground water cutoff in deep excavations, contamination containment, and other applications. Hydraulic conductivity is of great concern for cement-bentonite slurry walls. The quality control program usually specifies permeability and strength tests to be performed in a laboratory on samples cast in the field and cured for a certain time. Currently there is no widely accepted in-situ test method for the performance of the constructed slurry wall. A recently constructed cement-bentonite slurry wall in South Carolina included a 200-foot-long test section done in advance of the production of an 8,300 foot-long wall. Intensive tests and investigation were conducted during and after the test section construction: Monitoring piezometers were installed using wet insertion method and packer tests were conducted in boreholes drilled in the post-28-day-cure slurry wall. The permeability measured from the packer tests was about two orders of magnitude higher than the design and the laboratory test values. Additional investigation was performed using a video camera to inspect the borehole walls especially the packer test sections. Test pits were excavated to observe both sides of the cement-bentonite slurry wall. A thorough inspection was conducted to evaluate the integrity of the wall. The lessons learned and issues regarding the disturbance effects of in-situ testing of cement bentonite slurry walls is presented and discussed.
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