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Bare Liner Leak Location Surveys – The Water Puddle Method
Article by: Shawn Calendine | hydroGEOPHYSICS
For more than 40 years, a unique electric leak location method has been the go-to technique for finding leaks in nonpermeable geosynthetic liners at industrial facilities worldwide. The leak detection method, known as a bare liner water puddle survey, is a quality assurance method for detecting leaks in industrial geosynthetic lined containment structures. Industrial facilities use impermeable geosynthetics as barriers to keep toxic fluids and wastes created during industrial processes from reaching the earth’s surface. Bare liner surveys are performed following initial construction and, in some cases, can be used as a long-term maintenance strategy. The water puddle survey is one of the only reliable ways to detect and find holes in newly installed geomembrane liners. This method is fast concerning coverage and time, extremely sensitive, highly consistent, and can efficiently pinpoint leaks.
hydroGEOPHYSICS has been performing pond liner leak location for more than 20 years, and for the last four years, has been performing bare liner surveys.
The ‘Water Puddle Method’ is often the technique of choice for most new liner installations. However, using this method to survey liner materials that are already part of an industrial process is only possible if the survey area is cleaned and dry. This method has an average survey speed of 1000 m2 per hour per operator and can be effective in most bare liner integrity survey situations. The technique is sensitive enough to detect pinhole-sized leaks.
The water puddle survey is one of the only reliable ways to detect and find holes in newly installed geomembrane liners.
The bare liner water puddle leak location method works by constructing an electrical circuit between a puddle of water on a geosynthetic liner and the earth. The liner acts as a resistive sheet forming an electrical barrier. A water puddle leak detector delivers a small amount of water with an induced electric current to the liner’s surface, and the earth serves as a potential reference. When the water from the leak detector flows through a hole in the liner, the induced electrical current flows through the water along the liner’s surface through the breach and to the ground. The circuit is completed. An audible tone emitted by the device alerts the operator to the hole and the location is marked.
The bare liner water puddle leak location method is one of the fastest and most inexpensive approaches for locating leaks in bare liners and has been adopted worldwide as state-of-the-art leak location techniques for newly installed geomembranes. These procedures are often specified by regulators and voluntarily requested by industry stakeholders responsible for environmental management and minimizing liability. Typical applications include, but are not limited to: landfill liners and covers for solid waste facilities; new heap leach pads, process ponds, coal ash containment in precious metal mining; sewage treatment plants; agricultural process ponds; and reservoirs.
hydroGEOPHYSICS has been performing pond liner leak location for more than 20 years, and for the last four years, has expanded our leak location technology toolbag into the bare liner market. HGI’s leak location technology is rooted in electrically-based geophysics. Thus our methods can be adjusted to detect leaks and seeps in subsurface pipes, tanks, and various subsurface geological environments and large earthen structures. Follow the link below for more information on bare liner leak location and while you are at it, connect with us on LinkedIn and friend us on FB. If you have a project where our technology could benefit you or your client, call us! We are passionate about what we do and honest with the applications and limitations of geophysical technologies.
About the Author: Shawn Calendine | hydroGEOPHYSICS
Shawn Calendine is the Marketing & Development Manager at hydroGEOPHYSICS (HGI). Since joining HGI in 2005, Shawn has worked in many positions for HGI, most notably, as a team member managing the leak detection and monitoring (LDM) program for nuclear waste tanks at the Hanford Site in eastern Washington State. Following the LDM program, Shawn moved into field geophysics, gaining high-level experience with HGI’s geophysical technology toolbox.
In addition to work as a marketing consultant, Shawn participates, as a board member for several industry-related nonprofit organizations and authored several papers on geophysical methods relating to liner leak location and resistivity characterization. Over the past 15 years, Shawn has presented on geophysical topics more than 30 times at professional meetings and conferences. Shawn holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Environmental Science and General Science with a minor in Biology from Portland State University.
Other Articles By Shawn Calendine
- How Geophysics Could Help Prevent Reservoir Breaches Like The Florida Industrial Pond
- Bare Liner Leak Location – The Water Puddle Method
- Pinpointing industrial pond liner leaks – HGI Leak Detection
- Electric Liner leak Location for Industrial Ponds
- Subsurface Characterization for Brownfields – Is There A Better Way?