Successful dyke improvement while saving resources, time and money

For the very first time, the Water Board Limburg decided to use a Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL) for a project instead of the conventional materials. The project was a success and the savings impressive. Just one example of the savings is the fact that 200 fewer transport vehicles were needed.

The river Maas flows through Belgium, France and The Netherlands. People love living close to its river banks. But living close to waterways can also bear risks. Sometimes dykes are not high or strong enough to protect those living behind them.

The project in Neer, which is located on the River Maas, was started in order to prevent piping. Piping is the process of pipe formation in a sandy aquifer under river dykes. During high water periods, this process manifests itself by the formation of sand boils – formed by sand carried out of the aquifer by seepage – landwards of the dyke.

To prevent a possible dyke failure, the Limburg Water board has started the project of the dyke improvement.

One way to prevent dyke damage through piping is to apply a thick layer of clay in the foreland of the dyke under the grass. But this technique requires a significant amount of groundwork and logistical efforts. Clay has to be excavated first for improvement, and new clay needs to be applied afterwards.

The contractor in Neer went for a method that causes less work, is finished faster and therefore, also cheaper.
They installed 1200m² of Bentofix® geosynthetic clay liner from German manufacturer Naue. Bentofix® geosynthetic clay liners are needle-punched, reinforced composites that combine two durable geotextile outer layers and a uniform core of high-swelling powder sodium bentonite clay. This forms a uniform, multi-directional, shear-resistant hydraulic barrier with self-sealing and re-healing characteristics.

Very close cooperation with the Limburg Water Board’s Innovation Manager, Kees Dorst preceded this project. “Kees has been the driving force behind this project. We are proud to be part of this development to find the best solution for the authority. In this case, our Bentofix® GCLs are the most efficient, sustainable and cost-effective solution.” Says Christian Psiorz, Regional Sales Manager at Naue.

Naue GmbH & Co. KG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of geosynthetics. With 500 employees, the company operates from its headquarters in Germany and worldwide subsidiaries and offices. Naue maintains its a research department and an engineering office for customer-specific inquiries.