August 23, 2018

Best Practices for Zero Retaining Wall Failures - Water Application Construction



When a wall is constructed to be a water application such as in a lake, stream or detention basin, extra steps need to be taken.  The wall rock should be placed to the limits of the geogrid lengths up to a height equal to 12 inches (30 cm) higher than the determined high-water mark.

The drain pipe should be raised to the low water elevation to aid in the evacuation of water from the reinforced mass as water level fluctuates.

Embankment protection fabric should be used under the infill mass and up the back of the infill mass to a height of 12 inches (30 cm) higher than the determined high-water mark.  Embankment protection fabric is also used to stabilize rip rap and foundation soils in water applications and to separate infill materials from the retained soils.

For walls having moving water or wave action, natural or manufactured rip-rap in front of the wall to protect the toe of the wall from scour effects is recommended.  (ref. BP, Chapter 5.2)

Allan Block is working to achieve our industry initiative of Zero Wall Failures. With our Best Practices Manual and experience in the industry we are trying to expand the knowledge base for the design of segmental retaining walls (SRW's) by communicating and educating the professionals in the industry.  To see the full Best Practices Manual, visit allanblock.com to download today and keep an eye out for more industry Best Practice recommendations here.