Publication

Investigating the suitability of synthetic envelopes as an alternative or complement to stone aggregate in clay-textured soils in Ireland

Byrne, Ian
Healy, Mark G.
Fenton, Owen
Tuohy, Patrick
Citation
Byrne, Ian, Healy, Mark Gerard, Fenton, Owen, & Tuohy, Patrick. (2023). Investigating the suitability of synthetic envelopes as an alternative or complement to stone aggregate in clay-textured soils in Ireland. Geoderma Regional, 32, e00598. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geodrs.2022.e00598
Abstract
In Ireland, agricultural landscapes dominated by high rainfall and poorly drained soils have high densities of in-field pipe drains surrounded by stone aggregate envelopes. Unlike other countries, there is limited availability and use of synthetic envelopes, and no data exist about their suitability and efficacy in clay-textured soils. Indeed, both aggregate and synthetic envelope- based designs have been implemented without knowledge of their suitability or efficacy. Available synthetic envelopes have two configurations: pre-wrapped loose materials and pre-wrapped geotextiles (woven, non-woven, and knitted, with the knitted being the most common in the U.S. and Canada). In total, five configurations (referred to in this paper as `treatments¿) were examined in this study with a view to ranking them from performance and cost perspectives. The treatments were: a 0.8 mm thick needle-punched, non-woven geotextile or a 2 mm thick knitted filter sock wrapped around the drainpipe, with no aggregate (Treatments 1 and 2, respectively); a 0.8 mm-thick needle-punched, non-woven geotextile wrapped around 2 ¿ 10 mm (dD10 ¿ dD90) stone aggregate (Treatment 3); a 2 mm thick knitted filter sock wrapped around a drainpipe surrounded by 2-10 mm stone aggregate (0.15 m above pipe, 0.13 m below pipe) (Treatment 4); and a 2-10 mm stone aggregate alone (0.15 m above pipe, 0.13 m below pipe) (Treatment 5). The hydraulic and filter performance of Treatments 1 to 4 were compared with Treatment 5. Treatments 3 and 4 were assessed to determine if they improved hydraulic conductivity and filter performance over Treatment 5. Using cumulative discharge and cumulative flow weighted sediment loss (total suspended solids: TSS) as indicators of performance, geotextiles performed poorly from discharge and TSS perspectives. The discharge for Treatment 1 and Treatment 2 was below the discharge observed from the stone aggregate, and cumulative TSS losses were 636% and 709% higher (Treatment 1 and 2, respectively). The discharge from Treatments 3 and 4 was 67% and 134% higher than the stone aggregate, but this produced an increase in cumulative sediment losses. Treatment 5 performed effectively, with a discharge that was higher than that observed in the geotextile treatments (Treatments 1 and 2) but lower than that observed in Treatments 3 and 4. The use of these treatments, either alone or in combination with stone aggregate, is not recommended in the clay-textured soil tested, from both performance and cost perspectives. Therefore, this study recommends that stone aggregates in the optimal size range should be used as drain envelope material in similar textured soils in Ireland.
Funder
Publisher
Elsevier
Publisher DOI
10.1016/j.geodrs.2022.e00598
Rights
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IE