Posts Categorized: GEOWEB Geocells Soil Stabilization System

Solar Installations on Closed Landfills: Using Geosynthetics to Overcome Redevelopment Challenges

Written by: Michael Dickey, P.E. (WI, FL, GA, NC), Director Redevelopment of closed landfills and capped solid waste sites represent a unique opportunity for landfill owners, solar developers, and communities to work together to put underutilized properties back into productive use. Moreover, many such sites are conveniently located near existing transmission infrastructure and may be easier and more economical from an interconnection standpoint than rural greenfield sites. However, building over a closed landfill poses unique challenges because most landfills are covered by an engineered cap not typically designed to support loads from permanent foundations or heavy equipment. Additionally, state and federal regulations generally prohibit any activity that could potentially breach or damage the cap. Therefore, retrofitting a closed landfill for utility-scale or community solar projects requires careful planning. Ultimately, the project must not jeopardize the intent of the original cap design; that is, to protect human health and the environment. Selecting a Suitable Foundation Concrete slabs and pre-cast ballast footings are both foundation options for solar system installations on landfill caps. In general, concrete slab foundations are heavier than ballast footings and pose a higher risk of creating landfill settlement and side-slope stability issues. Ballasted footings are a lighter-weight option… Read more »

The History of Geocells

Geocell technology has come a long way over the past four decades. In its early days of development, the geocellular soil confinement system consisted of wax-coated craft paper; a plastic drainage pipe matrix fastened with staples; paper-thin, hexagon-shaped, glued aluminum; low- and medium-density recycled materials; pure polyethylene without UV stabilization; and square cells similar to old-fashioned egg carton separators. The Invention of Modern Geocell Technology In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contacted Presto Products Company—a private-label consumer packaging manufacturer—to develop a more robust honeycomb-shaped confinement system that would maintain load-bearing strength under heavy vehicle loads. Working with Steve Webster at the Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Presto’s Gary Bach devised a method to weld polyethylene strips to form a cellular structure. This innovative system became known as Sandgrid and was used by the military primarily for road applications. After the development of Sandgrid, Presto Products created a new business unit to focus solely on the geosynthetics business. With this expansion, Presto Geosystems® was established. Presto Geosystems and the USACE tested various resin blends and concluded that virgin high-density polyethylene (HDPE) provided superior weld consistency and structural strength. Presto Geosystems introduced the GEOWEB® Cellular Confinement System (CCS)… Read more »

Advancing the Mining Industry’s Transition to Sustainable Practices with Geosynthetics

Written by: Michael Dickey, P.E. (WI, FL, GA, NC) Mined materials are essential to our everyday lives. We use these valuable minerals in nearly every sector of the economy—they are necessary to construct roads and buildings, manufacture vehicles, build computers, and generate electricity. Additionally, the mining industry stimulates economic growth by providing employment opportunities and generating tax revenue that helps fund vital public services, such as hospitals and schools. As the mining industry navigates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, there is a sense of urgency to adopt sustainable or “green” mining practices. Green mining can be defined as technologies, best practices, and mine processes that are implemented to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction and processing of metals and minerals. The Mining Industry Faces Unique Challenges When it comes to sustainable development, operation, and closure of mines, the industry faces myriad challenges—not the least of which are poor soil conditions, weak subgrades, and other geotechnical challenges that can complicate miners’ efforts to meet ESG goals. In this regard, some of the more common geotechnical challenges that mine operators must contend with include: Constructing and maintaining heavy-duty haul roads. Stabilizing and protecting slopes. Tailings management and site reclamation…. Read more »

Innovative Design of Sludge Drying Beds Using 3D GEOWEB® Geocells

  Wastewater treatment facilities have long had to contend with the challenge of dewatering sludge to minimize waste and achieve overall cost efficiency for disposal. Large-scale facilities commonly use mechanical filter presses or centrifuges to dewater sludge. This equipment is often too cumbersome and expensive for many smaller facilities, so they rely on sand filter drying beds for sludge dewatering. Because small tractors or loaders cannot be operated on the loose sands of a conventional drying bed, a system must be implemented to stabilize the sand and improve load distribution for routine cleanout operations. Transforming Infill Material with the GEOWEB® Geocells Through an interconnected honeycomb-like network, 3D geocells confine and stabilize soils that would otherwise be unstable under loading conditions. Geocells are efficient and economical for fast-built unpaved roadways and retaining walls, erosion control of slopes, and stormwater channel protection. The GEOWEB® 3D Stabilization System is the industry’s most complete geocell system, designed with fully engineered components to withstand the most challenging site problems. Made from robust high-density polyethylene (HDPE) since conception, GEOWEB geocells offer the highest, longest-lasting, and most proven performance of any geocell system in civil applications. The GEOWEB® System Improves Clean-Up System for Solid Waste Treatment Facility A… Read more »

Building Energy Roads in Harsh Conditions With the GEOWEB® System

Energy sites are often located in remote and difficult-to-access sites in environments with poor soils, limited road-building resources, and extreme weather conditions. Site Challenges in Western Canada In Western Canada’s Oil Sands region, transporting construction equipment, drilling rigs, and completions apparatus – all with heavy wheel loads (typical loads exceeding 125,000 lbs.) is the challenge. It can be extremely difficult to accomplish this over the soft, wet ground (thick muskeg and saturated clays) typical of this region. Add the challenge of working in the dead of winter in below-zero temperatures and on frozen ground, with limited road building materials, and the scenario makes accessing the sites extremely difficult. In the wettest months, muddy conditions can make access by heavy trucks and equipment nearly impossible. So, energy companies typically wait for the ground to freeze before ramping back up construction.  Even in winter, access to remote oil sites creates challenges including undeveloped roads, soft ground, and scarce materials suitable for constructing roads. A Road Solution Built for Extreme Conditions The GEOWEB® 3D Soil Confinement System is built for these challenges.  The all-weather HDPE material is fast to install and isn’t hindered by soft ground or extreme temperatures. GEOWEB® 3D technology allows… Read more »

Designing and Building Sustainable Multi-Use Trails Using 3D Soil Confinement

GEOWEB Recreational Trail

Trails and greenways play a vital role in communities by preserving and creating open spaces for low or no-cost outdoor recreation. They encourage people to get outside and safely explore environmentally sensitive areas that would otherwise be difficult or dangerous to access. Trails also function as a safe transportation corridor for those who commute by foot or bicycle. When talking about recreational trails, it’s also important to acknowledge the economic impact they have on communities. Many recreational trails across the country are revenue-generating tourist destinations that positively impact local economies. Fundamentals of Good Recreational Trail Design There are three key considerations to good trail design: reinforcement, drainage, and confinement of surface materials. These are critical components required to withstand repeated traffic loading, resist degradation from erosion, and minimize environmental impact. Finding economical and low-maintenance solutions to stabilize trails and greenways can be difficult. It is even more challenging in poor soil environments or environmentally sensitive areas where minimal disturbance is allowed, or where paving or filling within an existing floodplain or coastal area is limited by local, state, or federal regulations. Presto Geosystems’ soil stabilization solutions overcome these challenges by providing low environmental impact options that offer long-term stability for… Read more »

Great American Outdoors Act Provides Billions of Dollars for Overdue Repairs and Maintenance of U.S. National Parks

Congress recently passed the most significant piece of land conservation legislation in a generation. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA)—a rare bipartisan effort—will provide full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually and will put $9.5 billion over the next five years toward the deferred maintenance backlog on public lands. The GAOA provides $6.5 billion specifically for the 419 national park units. President Trump signed the bill into law on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Increased Use and Lack of Funding Caused Maintenance Backlog This piece of legislation will have a historical impact on National Parks in the United States. The number of visitors to national parks has increased by 50% since 1980, but budgets have remained virtually flat. This imbalance has contributed to a $12 billion backlog of repairs to access roads, trails, campgrounds, monuments, and other parks infrastructure. Parks and recreational trails have recently become even more popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With limited indoor entertainment options, people have rediscovered their love for the outdoors. As this trend continues, our national parks must be equipped with the infrastructure necessary to sustain them in the long term. The Importance of Green Infrastructure & Low… Read more »

Bringing Stability to an Unstable World

With this summer’s extremely wet weather conditions across the country, building access roads is a major challenge.  Muddy, soft ground is causing construction delays when it comes to moving heavy vehicles and equipment over the soft soils. Presto’s GEOWEB® Soil Stabilization System offers a way to build roads even with these site challenges using low-cost, local fill—and has been doing so for over 30 years. In fact, the GEOWEB system is the go-to solution for many oil companies in remote areas like the Canadian oil sands and the Amazon basin. Recently, EnergyNow Media featured an article on GEOWEB roads addressing the latest access challenges in the energy sector. The EnergyNow article is republished below. Reprint of recent article written by “EnergyNow Media” (North American Energy Magazine) Presto Geosystems: Bringing Stability to an Unstable World Oil and gas is a tricky business. Everything from resource extraction to site management to processing is fraught with difficulties, challenges, and trials. However, one often-overlooked aspect within this industry is that of simply being able to access the resource site in the first place. Once access is established, it’s crucial that there is a clean, stable platform to work on and transport resources back out…. Read more »

Choosing the Right Geocell

Written By: Bryan Wedin P.E., Chief Design Engineer, Presto Geosystems Not all geocells are created equal. While most manufacturers can provide similar-looking written specifications, you need assurances that the material delivered for your project is of the high quality that you expect. Important factors in the success of your geocell project include: Quality The geocell material is proven, strong, and will last Require only the highest quality virgin High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) resin Low quality or recycled resin can lead to weak and/or inconsistent seam strength, putting the success of your project at risk. Non-HDPE materials cannot match the nearly 40 years of in-ground experience of HDPE geocells and plastic alloy proprietary blends can mask cheap stiff filler materials. ISO Certification Important, but the manufacturer sets the testing protocol for the certification. Require a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the material that is shipped to your project. An ISO certification that does not require continuous testing is lacking. Integral Components The complete solution includes proper components Non-corrosive, high-strength panel connection method (ATRA® Keys vs. weak staples or zip ties) Anchors that provide secure connections to the geocell (ATRA® stakes vs. J-hooks) Load Transfer Devices for tendon applications that are non-corrosive and… Read more »

How long does it take to install geosynthetic construction products?

How long does it take to install? It is a question we hear every day. When it comes to cost and installation rates for geosynthetic construction products, there are no simple answers to what seems like simple questions. In fact, beware of those who try to simplify determination of installation costs for their products with quick answers or charts and tables to determine construction rates. Experienced project managers and site supervisors of the crews charged with installation are in the best position to estimate productivity rates. They know best their crew’s capability and the characteristics of the site involved. The variables that need to be considered include: Crew size, talent, work ethic and workday length Temperature, precipitation and length of day (sunlight) Experience with product class Size of the project Site Access Site Conditions (see weather) Crew The optimum crew size is important. Too small and you may lose the benefits of assembly line productivity. Too large and you will find that you fall over each other and pay for extra “inspectors”. All crews are not created equally. The familiarity with tools and techniques vary greatly as does the work ethic both between crews and by region and country. Weather… Read more »