And Containment Structures

Common elements in all containment structures include Soil Stabilization and Construction
Techniques/ Materials.

Whether a natural soil or synthetic liner is used, the underlying surface must be stabilized prior to putting the liner on top. This is an area where STRATEZYME can be very effective. It will assist in compaction, producing greater soil strengths and reducing permeability. Once the material has been treated and compacted, it is in a long-term natural state that will resist degradation. NutraBond.

STRATEZYME has been specified by engineers for use in construction of a natural soil liner (clay type with low permeability). STRATEZYME increases soil density and decreases permeability. Construction includes compacting the material in 6-inch (15-cm) lifts, using proper compaction equipment and the correct amount of moisture to obtain maximum density. STRATEZYME is a non-toxic biocatalytic multiple enzyme product.

For Waste Containment or Landfill construction, STRATEZYME is used to assist in compacting clay containing soil into a better containment barrier, that will meet regulatory requirements. Common to all systems of construction waste containment structures, testing and special analysis involving soil type and characteristics are required.

When site and pond size have been specified, soil core samples are taken for laboratory analysis. The tests will include particle size determination using ASTM-D-422 Method, as well as a hydrometer test without STRATEZYME to demonstrate the condition of the soil clay content. Laboratory permeability tests must then be run on soil samples with and without the appropriate STRATEZYME treatment. Tests should be conducted over a wide range of densities so compaction requirements may be specified. If soil tests show a two-micron clay content of less than 20%, it is often necessary to use borrow soil to achieve an adequate clay concentration with the on-site soil.

The pond excavation can be achieved with standard earth moving equipment used in any standard pond construction. The low-permeability soil liner, mixed and treated with STRATEZYME, is to be compacted in 6-inch (15 cm) lifts. Total thickness is specified by the desired permeability coefficient. The loss rate for a field liner can be predicted from laboratory data using the following. It is often best to leave the actual mathematics to a qualified engineer.

Barclay’s Law

For Unit Area: Q = K x h/l = K x d+1/l

Q ------- Flow rate, cm per day
K ------- Permeability coefficient under unit gradient, cm/sec
h ------- Total head in meters
l -------- Soil lining thickness in meters
d ------- Water depth in meters
h/l ------ Hydraulic gradient equals the total head (depth of water) in meters divided by the soil lining thickness

Each 6-inch (15-cm) layer is mechanically mixed, adding water and STRATEZYME as required. One gallon of STRATEZYME treats 165 cubic yards of material, which is diluted with sufficient water to bring the soil-clay material close to optimum moisture. This mixing may be done off-site or in place, whichever is most suitable. Uniform mixing can be obtained by disking with an offset disc to a depth of 6 inches (15 cm) or by an approved mixing method such as a blade, pulverizer or other means available. During compaction, STRATEZYME performs several beneficial functions. It “wets” the clay particles, thus permitting a higher compaction density [98% to 102% of optimum density (ASTM-D-698)]. The macromolecules in the STRATEZYME product provide a “surfactant-like” property that aids dispersion of soil particles and provides certain “cementation” effects.

After mixing, the material is spread over the sub-grade or previously completed layer to the depth required to yield a 6-inch (15-cm) compacted layer. Each layer is compacted to at least 95% as determined by AASHTO Method T-99. The density is verified with a nuclear moisture density meter or other laboratory test method. Compaction is achieved with a sheepsfoot roller and the surface is worked to a smooth finish with a rubber tire or smooth steel-wheeled roller. The final grade should be within 1 inch (3 cm).

Upon completion of a layer of liner material, successive layers are installed by the same procedure. Immediately prior to spreading the treated material, the sub grade or the previous compacted layer should be moistened to permit bonding between layers.

Upon completion of the top layer, the liner is ready for use. Throughout construction of the liner there is no concern about punctures as in the case of synthetic liners. Also, the liner has been stabilized to the surrounding soil and is monolithic – able to withstand a variety of environmental conditions—temperature, settlement and load stresses. Usually there is no overburden protective layer required, as in the case of a synthetic plastic liner.



Soil stabilization, construction techniques and materials are the major components of any type of containment structure. Natural clay liners are geologically stable and have longer projected life expectancy than most man-made materials. Clay liners are self-sealing when put under stress. STRATEZYME works well with clay soils to assist in compaction and density. It also enhances cohesiveness and binding of soil particles.

The complexity of containment structures and ponds is influenced by:

            · Geographic location

            · Site topography

            · Rainfall

            · Ground water conditions

            · Soil conditions

            · Bearing values

            · Expansive nature

            · Permeability

             Subsidence danger

            · Frost, etc

Type of material to be contained

            · Water / other liquids

            · Combination liquid / solid materials

            · Mixture of inorganic and organic wastes

            · Anticipated level of toxicity

Engineers use well-defined specifications in their designs of containment structures. The design and supervision insures that a proper liner has been installed and that it will meet the intended use over a specified time. Installation costs also play an important role in design. Use of soil-clay liners has been very cost effective and meets long-term design standards.

Several construction methods and materials are used in containment structures and ponds. Liner materials include natural clay and soil, synthetic liners, soil cement and others.

Important Elements to Consider

            · Type of construction (equipment and expertise)

            · Construction supervision and testing

            · How carefully will material be placed over the liner?

            · What stresses will the liner material see over time?

            · What unplanned event can occur to breach the liner’s integrity, causing cracks, punctures or other liner breach?

            · What is the life expectancy of the synthetic liner material?

·             What substances might be present to degrade the synthetic material in the future?



For new construction, add STRATEZYME to water as described above. The soil ideally should have approximately 25% to 30% cohesive, colloidal fines (200 mesh). Blade or disc the soil to blend in STRATEZYME and water, then grade and shape. Next, compact the soil at optimum moisture using a compactor, tractor or truck. Generally, the top 10 to 12 inches is treated for most liners.

When an existing pond or lake is filled with water and less than 8 feet in depth, use one gallon of STRATEZYME for every 6,000 square feet of surface area (8 gallons per surface acre). Pour STRATEZYME into the water from the windward side and around the perimeter or across the surface if a boat or pump can be used. Stir up the silt from the bottom of the pond any way possible (dragging chains sometimes works). Fines placed into suspension together with the STRATEZYME will then migrate to the seepage areas. Do not add water for 3 days. STRATEZYME disperses clay and colloidal materials into the voids between each grain of soil and causes a catalytic bonding process, creating a strong, tightly compacted stratum that resists water penetration.

Success with this method will depend on the soil composition of your pond. If loss by seepage does not stop within 10 to 14 days, you can let the pond dry and re-treat using new pond construction methods described above. STRATEZYME will not harm fish if used properly. It is most effective in sealing the soils in ponds when at least 25% of the material contains fines that will pass a 200-mesh screen, and the fines are primarily cohesive clays.


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