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Vertical Drains

The building of roads, overpasses, reservoirs or buildings on sites where the soil is mainly composed of clay can present its share of challenges. In order to ensure adequate soil consolidation, it is often necessary to proceed with a consolidation of this clay by the overload method in order to evacuate interstitial water contained in the soil. This natural consolidation process can take several months, even years. Installing vertical drains can radically increase the speed of consolidation thus shortening the construction schedule by several months and reducing project costs.

Vertical drains are geocomposites made up of a pleated plastic core sheeted in a geotextile and available in narrow strips which are inserted at various depths in the soil with specialized equipment. Functioning according to the capillarity principle, these drains act as preferential ducts to evacuate the water towards the ground's surface where it can be captured and evacuated past the perimeter of the consolidation site. The water evacuation capacity of these drains can exceed the hydraulic capacity of sand columns 150 mm in diameter.

The installation of this type of drain can reach a few dozen meters in depth depending on the specific geology encountered in the soil. Depending on the type of soil on the surface, pre-drilling of a borrow pit may be required. Our equipment can be adapted to your machinery or made available autonomously according to your needs. In order to increase drainage capacity towards the perimeter, while reducing the thickness of sand required, Draintube – a draining geocomposite – can be used in combination with vertical drains.