The award is part of the 2007 International Achievement Awards presented by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).
This project involved installing a soil cap over the surface of a 55-acre sludge pond under the auspices of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The capping system required the installation of high-strength woven geotextile manufactured over approximately 45 acres and the installation of geogrid over approximately 10 acres. A 40-mil HDPE membrane and various layers of soil were then installed over this reinforcement. The geotextile was specified due its high tensile strengths, high flow rates, and high UV protection.
The purpose of the capping system was to eliminate exposure and improve surface water and groundwater quality in the area of the sludge pond near Plant City, Fla.
The project involved installation of a high-strength geotextile over approximately 45 acres of lime sludge. Due to the low vane shears, field seaming was performed adjacent to the pond, with the sewn panels accordion-folded in stacks up to 1,800ft long. The mobile seaming equipment and the unique geotextile design permitted seam efficiencies substantially above the industry average.
Upon completion of the seaming, the fabric was deployed across the pond utilizing cables and 8 pieces of heavy earthmoving equipment. No damage to the geotextile or seam failure was encountered.
The geotextile and seaming performed flawlessly, exceeding both expectations and specifications. Once the fabric was deployed and properly anchored, the contractor was able to backfill the pond using equipment with a much greater ground pressure than originally planned, thus saving the contractor significant time and expense.
This is the largest known project requiring the deployment of such a large panel of high-strength geotextile over a semi-dry sludge pond with low vane shears. Also, the seaming equipment and the proprietary design of the geotextile fabric permitted unusually high seam strengths, previously achievable only in a controlled manufacturing environment.