Due to an oversight during construction, acidic groundwater at a coal mine in West Virginia was causing deterioration of 7′, 9′ and 10′ CMP bypass pipes adjacent to a coal stockpile. The pipes had been installed to bypass streams below the surface elements of the mine, but high iron content and low acidity of water entering the pipes caused the mine to have to treat the water which was supposed to be bypassed.
The pH of the water affecting the metal pipes was as low as 2.1. While typical chemical grouts have excellent histories resisting chemical attack at low pHs, low pH can affect the initial reaction. The owner and geotechnical consultant were also concerned about leak stopping work on the pipe causing water to flow outside of the pipe downstream to other areas which were yet unaffected.
CJGeo worked with multiple potential grout suppliers to identify a grout which would not be affected by the acidic environment. A 120cps high expansion prepolymer was chosen due to its ability to react properly in low pH environments, and also for its low viscosity to help ensure good coverage.
A CJGeo chemical grouting crew completed leak stopping on 31 joints and 25 point leaks throughout 600LF of pipe over a period of two weeks, in addition to grouting a 1200CF cutoff wall to stop water migration outside of the structure.