THE SURFACE Penitencia Pipe Deflection Monitoring System

Penitencia Pipe Deflection Monitoring


System Seismic Assessments Using Best Practices Announcements Upcoming Events

4TH QUARTER / 2017

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2 3 4 The Penitencia Water Mains, operated by the Santa Clara Water District, are located on a slow moving landslide within 1.2 miles of the Hayward fault. A new seismic retrofit of the pipes was initiated using articulating joints with known ranges to allow for pipe movement across the active landslide without jeopardizing pipeline serviceability. Geocomp was contracted to develop a Pipe Deflection Monitoring System. We provided a solution to monitor pipe deflections and measure ranges used by the articulating joints from active landslides or earthquakes. This greatly reduced the need for excavation and inspection of joint ranges by measuring pipe distortions using shape accelerometer arrays (SAA). Horizontal SAAs were buried immediately below the pipes with vertical SAAs installed between two of the pipes run to provide a three dimensional profile of pipe movements. Geocomp installed and commissioned the Pipe Deflection Monitoring System.

All data are collected with a battery backed up data logging system and are remotely posted to Geocomp’s iSiteCentralTM database management system. This allows multiple user access to the data through a password protected website. Trigger values are established for pipe displacements and provide alarm warnings to authorized personnel in the event these trigger values are exceeded. In addition, Geocomp developed the Pipe Deflection Monitoring System Specification for the Construction Bid documents to implement this monitoring program.


Seismic Assessments Using Best Practices for Risk Management of TVA Coal Combustion Residuals Surface Impoundments In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the “Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule” to address risks associated with failures of surface impoundments and landfills used to dispose of CCR generated by coal-fired power plants. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operates 10 coal-fired power plants in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. Seismic stability assessments of surface impoundments at these power plants, done by others using simplified and conservative assessments, concluded that six impoundments would not meet the EPA’s CCR Rule requirements. This would necessitate significant stabilizing work which could potentially cost more than $100,000,000 or cause a shutdown of the power plants due to non-compliance to the Federal Rule. These six sites have a combined output to supply electricity to an equivalent of 3.8 million homes so a shutdown was not a viable option. TVA retained Geocomp to perform a more comprehensive assessment of the six impoundments. We formulated


an approach termed “Best Practices” to more realistically assess the seismic stability of these facilities without the over-conservatism inherent in the previously employed simplified procedures. Geocomp applied our Best Practice assessments to surface impoundments located at the Allen, Cumberland, Gallatin, Johnsonville, Paradise, and Shawnee Fossil Plants to determine their stability during and

after the design earthquake. The Best Practices approach included more comprehensive site investigations, state-of-the-art laboratory testing of high quality samples, and advanced numerical analyses of earthquake shaking effects. Using Best Practices, Geocomp’s assessments resulted in all six of the potentially non-conforming surface impoundments meeting the Federal EPA CCR Rule requirements for seismic stability by the October 2016 mandated deadline. Therefore, the plants could continue to operate without disruption. Without the results of the Best Practices approach, these plants would have been required to be shut down, or TVA would have had to spend more than $100 million for slope remediation within a short period of time.


ANNOUNCEMENTS GeoTesting Express Promotions In GeoTesting Express, (GTX), we are delighted to announce the appointments of Joseph Tomei to Director of Testing Services and Ethan Marro to Lab Manager. With more than 24 years of experience, Joe Tomei has become an expert in laboratory and field testing. During his 22 years with GTX, Joe has held positions of Laboratory Technician, Field Engineer, Assistant Laboratory Manager, and Laboratory Manager. He has a strong working knowledge of soils, rock, concrete, and geosynthetics materials through his experience with a wide array of testing. As Laboratory Manager of GTX’s headquarter laboratory in Massachusetts, Joe has been instrumental in expanding the Lab’s testing capabilities and increasing its capacity all while helping to provide the fastest turnaround time and highest quality test results possible. Gary T. Torosian, Geocomp’s COO (and former Director of Testing Services for GTX) stated “Joe’s diversified experience at several levels in our organization will provide him a strong foundation for successfully overseeing our laboratory division. I look forward to continuing to work with Joe as he transitions into this next chapter in his career.”

Ethan Marro has more than 14 years of experience in both field and laboratory testing, 5 of which have been with GTX as an Assistant Laboratory Manager. He is certified by ACI in both laboratory and field testing and has held multiple NETTCP certifications, including Soils Field Inspector and Asphalt Laboratory and Field Inspector. His previous employment included managing an ARML accredited lab for a national engineering firm, where he expanded testing capabilities to include asphalt testing and ASR and shrinkage testing for concrete mix designs.



125 NAGOG PARK ACTON, MA 01720 T (978) 635-0012 F (978) 635-0266

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UPCOMING EVENTS Look for Geocomp and GeoTesting Express at the following upcoming trade shows: • TRB Annual Meeting (Exhibiting) January 7-11, 2018, Washington, DC

• International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE) 2018 (Exhibiting) March 5-10, Orlando, FL

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4 TH Q U A R T E R / 2 0 1 7

Tom Weinmann presenting at session 752 on Wednesday, January 10th beginning at 8:35am

the surface - Geocomp

Trigger values are established for pipe displacements and provide alarm warnings to authorized personnel in the event these trigger values are exceeded.

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