Joints containing clay pods

AAI was contracted by the City Engineer for a Midwest municipality to study the practicality of disposing of water treatment sludge in an underground stone mine near the treatment plant. The study included the following tasks:

  • Mapping joints and filling types
  • Sampling joint filling materials
  • Examining joint filling materials under a microscope
  • Sending joint filling samples to a lab for mineralogical analysis by XRF
  • Determining hydraulic conductivity of joint fillings by falling-head methods
  • Modeling stability of mines opening under varying water heads and estimating flow rates through joints to the far-field

The results indicated that minimal flow would occur laterally and vertically downward toward the drinking-water aquifer under expected and worst-case conditions.

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