Geo-Con, Inc.

Installation of a grout curtain at a hazardous waste landfill


An existing inactive hazardous waste landfill located in Niagara Falls, New York was exhibiting migration of contaminants due to lateral groundwater flow in the underlying dolomitic limestone bedrock. It was determined that the installation of a vertical barrier to redirect the groundwater flow around the landfill would be the key element in the abatement design. Further review indicated that a grout curtain would be the most cost-effective method of installing this vertical barrier. The design, which included extensive testing of numerous grout materials for compatibility with known contaminants at the site, required the installation of a single-row grout curtain some eighty feet (26 meters) deep by 2,500 feet (820 meters) long.

Slurry grout materials selected and used on this project included fly ash, Types I and V Portland cement, and the largest quantity of ultrafine cement used to date in the United States. All grout injection and verification testing was performed utilizing automated monitoring and recording equipment, facilitating computerized correlation and evaluation of field data.

This innovative combination of conventional grout curtain design with the more recent advances in grouting materials and monitoring technology yielded a vertical barrier providing significantly reduced permeability of the underlying bedrock in accordance with the original design objectives. Further, in what may be the largest application of this type to date, this technique appears to be a viable method for control of subsurface contaminant migration in the ever growing hazardous waste management field.

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