16 Apr 2021

Blog Bite 3: Sludge Pond Closure Using Geotextile Reinforcement

By Brendan Swifte

Welcome to our blog space where we share our insights and experiences in civil engineering and geosynthetics. We feature bite-sized articles for quick and easy consumption


For sludge ponds with low bearing capacity that have come to the end of their working life, a proven closure solution is the use of a multi-functional geotextile reinforcement layer across the sludge pond, followed by placement of fill material.

We explore the engineering that drives the use of this solution via six simple steps over 3 bite-sized pieces.

In our third bite, we consider some handling and installation tips for a TenCate reinforcement geotextile solution.


Many industries (particularly the mining sector) use storage ponds to contain sludge or sediments. As these ponds become full, a decision is required whether to extend their lives or to close and reclaim them.

We have covered Steps 1 to 4 on knowing the details of the sludge, the cover and available materials at site, pond dimensions and the design process. Let’s move on to the final steps.

Step 5: Transportation & Handling

Confirming the strength grade and required dimensions allows production of the geotextile rolls or panels in the factory. As the finished product can be quite heavy, consideration is to be given to safety and transportation.

Experience brings an understanding of the safe handling options along the delivery process:

  • During the factory production or fabrication process
  • Packing and unpacking of the finished product into the shipping containers at factory and destination
  • If required, how to load and unload the finished product onto trucks for transportation to remote site
  • Handling of the finished product at site, including placement into the final position


Step 6: Installation Considerations

A smoother, safer construction project is achieved when the installer and supplier invest time collaboratively in the planning stages. The following slides show some simplistic installation steps and considerations.

The finished geotextile product should be unloaded adjacent to the ponds. If installing geotextile panels, then these are to be unfolded prior to initial placement.





Project success requires a detailed understanding of the construction process, applications knowledge, technical expertise and advanced manufacturing capabilities.

Contact our experienced specialists who can assist you with solutions for sludge pond closures.


That’s all for now. We will be back shortly with the next series of Blog Bites.

Don’t miss the "SOFT SITE IMPOUNDMENT CLOSURES USING GEOSYNTHETICS" webinar by Chris Lawson on 20 April 2021, organized by ACIGS. It’s not too late to register if you haven’t already. Sign up now.

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