MS in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)
Degree Granting Department
Manjriker Gunaratne, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Cunningham, Ph.D.
Mark Ross, Ph.D.
Hydraulic Conductivity, Permeability, Polyurethane, Pump Testing, Slug Testing
Construction projects involving the installation or repair of subsurface structures or utilities often require dewatering to induce a temporary lowering of the local groundwater elevation to facilitate construction. In the event that a known contaminant plume is present in an adjacent area, this dewatering may inadvertently draw the contaminant into the previously uncontaminated work area. Uretek Holdings, Inc. has developed its Injectable BarrierSM to be installed prior to dewatering exercises to provide a groundwater cut-off by reducing the potential movement of groundwater due to the hydraulic gradient induced by dewatering. A benefit of Injectable BarrierSM as compared to conventional methods of hydraulic control is that excavation is not required prior to its installation and no excess soils are generated through its installation. Injectable BarrierSM is a proprietary process registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Uretek Holdings, Inc.
Since methodical in-situ testing of the effectiveness of the Injectable BarrierSM has not been performed to date, it was the focus of this research to test the performance of the barrier under in-situ conditions utilizing a subsurface environment indicative of a West-Central Florida location. A testing plot to perform this research was selected on Hillsborough County property in Tampa, Florida which provided both a relatively shallow groundwater elevation in addition to a clay confining layer at a relatively shallow depth, making this an ideal location for testing the performance of the Injectable BarrierSM.
After establishing the native conditions through baseline pump testing and repeating the testing procedure following the installation of the Injectable BarrierSM, a quantification of the reduction in hydraulic conductivity was achieved. Pumping tests were performed on the Injectable BarrierSM at its standard spacing as well as modified versions of the barrier with variation in the lateral spacing to include 6 foot, 4 foot, 3 foot, and 2 foot injection patterns to determine if a modified injection process could improve its performance. The 3 foot lateral spacing corresponding to the standard Injectable BarrierSM process indicated a 20% reduction in the hydraulic conductivity following its installation. By performing a small scale excavation following the completion of all pumping tests, it was discovered that the dispersion of the material in the subsurface appeared insufficient to provide the coverage needed to establish a barrier capable of further reducing the local hydraulic conductivity, especially at the shallowest injection depth of 3 feet below land surface (ft bls). It is concluded that modified amounts of injected material, closer lateral injection spacing, and potentially modified injection temperatures and component ratios could increase the effectiveness of the Injectable BarrierSM.
Scholar Commons Citation
Hess, Jeremy, "In-Situ Testing of Uretek's Injectable Barrier as a Mechanism for Groundwater Control" (2016). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.