Dams & Levees

By applying unique solutions to increase the safety and longevity of our environment.

Illinois Spillway Grouting

The Job

A spillway serving as a dam for a lake owned & maintained by a property owner association outside of Carbondale, Illinois stopped having water flowing over the spillway. The property owners determined that the lake was draining through voids under the spillway slab. This made them concerned about destabilization of the spillway, which was the sole access for six homes.

The Challenge

The flow velocity was rather high, and immediately on the other side of the spillway was a 30′ cliff, that the water was designed to spill over as a waterfall. Given the extraordinary difficulty of retrieving any material washed over the waterfall, the grout had to have an exceptionally fast set. It also needed to provide adequate bearing capacity for the roadway slabs.

The Solution

CJGeo proposed grouting below the spillway with CJGrout 40NHL, which is usually used for differential settlement correction. CJGrout 40NHL performs well for differential settlement correction because it reacts very quickly, and is used for medium duty lifting, such as highway pavement, so it would provide more than enough bearing capacity.

The owners were very excited that it would be significantly less expensive to grout the existing spillway than to have someone local install a portadam and replace the entire structure. CJGeo mobilized a single polyurethane grouting crew to the site, and they stopped the leaks and kicked all the water flow over the spillway in a single day.

Spillway Bridge Grouting

The Job

Two DOT-maintained bridges crossing two privately owned dam spillways had to be closed because of extensive undermining of the spillways. The undermining was allowing nearly all of the flow to happen below the spillway slabs, which caused large sinkholes to form adjacent to and under the roadway pavement, and also led to some settlement of the spillway slabs.

The Challenge

There was very little room to work–just under 4′ of clearance below the bridge beams. Also, the velocity of the water through the voids below the structure was quite high.

The Solution

CJGeo proposed a combination of plural component polyurethane grouting to address the water flows and voids, and hydrophobic chemical grout placed directly into cracks. A single CJGeo grouting crew was able to complete the repairs in a day (roughly 2500sqft of work, and approximately 4500lbs of polyurethane, plus 30 gallons of hydrophobic chemical grout). Dye testing during and after the grouting work confirmed that no more leaks were present under or around the spillway structures.

1400LF 36″ Dead Headed LLO Abandonment

The Job

The Round Valley Reservoir, in Clinton Township, New Jersey is a 2300 acre man-made drinking water reservoir serving extensive portions of New Jersey. It was constructed by damming up two openings in a naturally-curved mountain.

As part of a dam upgrade project, a 1400LF, 36″ inner diameter LLO pipe needed to be grouted to place it out of service.

The Challenge

The pipe had been previously blind flanged, 180′ below the lake surface. There was a single, 12″ riser pedestal. There were numerous significant challenges to face, including:

  • 2GPM residual leak from the blind flange buried in 15′ of lake floor debris
  • inability to push sacrificial pipes more than 500′ up the pipe
  • remote site with limited ready mix service

The Solution

CJGeo worked with the general contractor, diving subcontractor, sacrificial grout pipe installation subcontractor, geotechnical and civil EORs, and the owner, to develop a single stage grouting plan to place approximately 350CY of 68lb/cuft cellular grout from the downstream end.

Venting was achieved by installing a 4″ removable vent pipe from the pedestal riser, 180VF to the lake surface, terminating on a barge. Since there was only one opportunity to do the job correctly, CJGeo had two fully staffed grout plants onsite, and had all cement and mix water staged in onsite storage prior to the start of grouting to avoid any material logistics disruptions affecting the work.

CJGeo placed the 68lb/cuft grout over a period of a few hours, leaving an intentional air pocket at the high end to capture infiltrating lake water long enough for the grout to set prior to seeing lake head.

DeRuyter Reservoir Outfall Abandonment

The Job

The DeRuyter Reservoir, in DeRuyter, New York, is a 557 reservoir originally developed as part of the Erie Canal system.

As part of a dam upgrade project, the three parallel 22″ diameter, 300LF outfall pipes needed to be abandoned, along with a stone box culvert downstream of the valve chamber the pipes terminated into.

The Challenge

Each of the three pipes had been previously blindly flanged by divers. Therefore, the only access was from the downstream end within the valve chamber. In order to vent the air displaced by the abandonment grout, vent or placement points needed to be installed just behind the upstream blind flanges, which were approximately 40′ below the water surface.

The Solution

CJGeo worked with the general contractor to design an internal venting system utilizing sacrificial placement pipes installed from the valve chamber. After each of the sacrificial grout pipes was installed, the downstream terminations were bulkheaded, with vent stubs.

CJGeo mobilized a cellular grouting crew, who placed 30lb/cuft cellular concrete through each of the sacrificial grout pipes, until grout returned to the bulkhead vents, confirming fill. The work was completed over two days an onsite-the first day for the abandonment pipes and first lift in the box culvert, and the second day for a top-off pour on the box culvert.

8″ Toe Drain Abandonment

The Job

Lake Whetstone is an approximately 30-acre manmade impoundment located in Montgomery Village, Maryland. It is utilized for stormwater runoff control, and also recreation, with an approximately 1000LF earthen dam.

As part of a retrofit program of the embankment, two 8″, perforated CMP toe drain pipes need to be grouted for a minimum of 100LF, underactive flow.

The Challenge

Each of the two, 100′ long pipes needed to be grouted full, but could only be accessed from the downstream end of the pipes. One pipe had nominal flow, and the second pipe had approximately 10GPM and discharged through an end wall structure at the stilling basin.

The Solution

The project designer, Gannett Fleming, specified NSF Section 61 certified grout (potable water contact) for the abandonment grout. Due to the “one-shot” nature of the project, above-ground mockups, including sacrificial pipe installation, chemical grout cup testing, yield analysis, and visual inspection, were all required prior to the start of grouting.

CJGeo performed the onsite mockup testing and analysis, and then grouted the two pipes in place successfully over a period of two days onsite.

Dam Outfall Pipe Seep Grouting

Extensive seeps at the joint between the pipe and end wall.


A 36″ RCP outfall pipe for a dam terminated at an end wall. As part of a dam rehabilitation, small seeping leaks at the end wall/pipe joint needed to be stopped. The leaks had to be stopped so the wall could be resurfaced.

The engineer specified chemical grouting.


Access to the area was quite difficult. It was more than 150 feet from the closest vehicle access, which was only accessible by 4×4 vehicles down a steep slope.

While unknown during the planning of the chemical grouting repair, what was thought to be 36″ RCP was actually a larger diameter RCP that had been lined with steel casing pipe. An interior poured-in-place concrete liner had been installed afterward.  


Super low viscosity prepolymer chemical grout was selected. This was for two reasons: 1) the ability to easily pump more than 150LF from the lay-down area. 2) the ability to seek out and stop leaks through very tight cracks in the structures.

Prepolymer chemical grouts are water-reactive, so can be injected into active water flows. The grout expands when it comes into contact with the water, which seals the leak.  

After chemical grouting of seeps.

The initial grouting plan was to install the chemical grout through the pipe wall starting beyond the first joint. However, because the pipe had been cased, placement had to be done through the end-wall structure only. Multiple injection holes were drilled through the end wall structure, and the chemical grout was pumped through the end-wall structure.  

Extensive catalyzation was used to first seal the leaks at the end wall and then chase the water flow pathways up along the outside of the pipe. The job was messy due to the forced proximity of the injection points and the leaks. But all the leaks were successfully stopped.