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Contaminated lake sediments meet geotextile tubes

Geosynthetics, Projects | April 1, 2012 | By:

Onondaga Lake, northwest of Syracuse, N.Y., will be the site of the largest geotextile tube project ever attempted in North America, and TenCate Geosynthetics Americas, Pendergrass, Ga., will provide TenCate Geotube® containers to complete the massive Superfund cleanup. A century of industrial activity, in which factories pumped waste products directly into the lake, left Onondaga Lake sediments contaminated with heavy metals (such as lead), PAHs (coal-tar contaminants) and solvents that pose health and environmental risks. The clean-up plan involves dredging and piping 2.1 million cubic yards of contaminated sediments to a 50-acre dewatering cell made up of Geotubes stacked 30 feet high.

Geotube materials function to confine the sediments (also called dredge spoils), reinforce soil and allow filtration and dewatering. Liquid can be treated to remove contaminants, and the more concentrated toxins in the cell will be capped and monitored. Unique features of Geotube containers include circumferential seams for strength and mechanical geoports to allow easy access for monitoring or tests. The company was selected for the project, in part, because it had “a history of projects worldwide that are similar in scope and complexity,” says Vicki Ginter, regional marketing manager for TenCate Geosynthetics Americas.

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