TenCate Geosynthetics, Pendergrass, Ga., developed the durable Geotube® system for large-scale water management projects, such as sludge dewatering and breakwater stabilization. Dewatering contaminated sludge or sediment pumped into a Geotube is simple and conservative; the high-strength, permeable, specially engineered geotextiles allow water to escape while capturing solids for re-use or appropriate disposal. Geotubes packed with local sand or sediment can serve as breakwaters, levies or water-containment structures.
Customers for such grand-scale hydraulic infrastructure projects want up-front estimates of cost and benefit, and TenCate Geosynthetics recently introduced a calculator that compares the carbon footprints of Geotubes with other solutions. The calculator’s independently validated database considers type of transport, transport distance, energy consumption, weight and local availability of materials. Alternatives to geosynthetic solutions employ traditional materials such as concrete, stone and steel, whereas Geotubes use textiles and locally available fill materials. Calculations of geotextile solutions’ sustainability benefits will allow customers to make fully informed choices about investments in hydraulic infrastructure.