Geosynthetics are used to mitigate the impact of moving water

Flowing water presents significant challenges. Currents erode banks and stir up sediments. They scour out soils at the base of bridge piers. Beachfronts get washed out and infrastructure is weakened. For canals, channels, rivers, and waterfronts, numerous geosynthetics are used to mitigate the impact of moving water.

Sand-filled geotextile bags (e.g., Secutex® Soft Rock) are used to provide scour protection for offshore wind turbine footings, port walls, bridge pilings, and other structures. Their filter stability and long-term durability resist the prolonged impact of wave forces and flowing water erosion. They are also an extremely efficient and economical solution, through enabling a greater re-use of local soils for filling the scour protection geocontainers, sand bags, and tubes.

Where cavities have already occurred in a waterway due to scour, sand-filled containers can be installed to fill the space. The robust, needle-punched nonwoven geotextile material (e.g., Secutex® H) is durable against rough site conditions and prevents further scouring.

Barrier geosynthetics are also used to prevent the wash out of soils in flowing waterways. In irrigation, commercial, and hydroelectric canals, geomembranes and geosynthetic clay liners improve water flow and prevent currents from eroding canal beds and slopes.

Sites that benefit from lining system protection against scour include dams, dykes, canals, mining applications, and many others.

Bentofix® geosynthetic clay liners and Carbofol® geomembranes provide this sealing support. Depending on the force of water flow and site conditions, additional geosynthetic support such as a protection geotextile may be used.

Ecological and cost benefits

Naue’s geosynthetics offer long-term performance for infrastructure in and around moving waterways while reducing the carbon footprint both of the construction and the life time operations. In constructing with geosynthetics like Carbofol® geomembranes, Bentofix® GCLs, and Secutex® H nonwoven geotextiles, water quality is improved when scour is prevented. Removing the threat of scour also improves the service life and maintenance requirements for the site, which ultimately reduces site soil disturbance.

The durability and filter stability of Secutex® Soft Rock geocontainers reduce or eliminate the need for special fill in installations, and the lightweight, effi cient character of these geosynthetics in delivery to site (versus conventional aggregate) means signifi cantly fewer trucks are needed in transport.

Some Bentofix® products can even be installed in very wet conditions or underwater, which can enable a waterway to remain in operation during rehabilitation or for construction works to proceed safely despite diffi cult weather conditions. The design of Naue geosynthetics into these sections of infrastructure at risk of scour can eliminate the scour risk while making construction more effi cient, improving water quality and dependability of water delivery, minimizing long-term costs, and extending service lives.