‘Vertical sand-proof geotextile’ won the 2013 Water Innovation Award 2013 last Tuesday in the ‘Dry feet’ category. ‘Vertical sand-proof geotextile’ is an innovative way of preventing piping.
Deltares won the award as part of a team that also included the Rivierenland Water Authority, Stichting IJkdijk, and the Room for the River programme management. It competed with a total of 120 other candidates. Ulrich Förster, a dike expert with Deltares, accepted the award on behalf of the team.
Using geotextile to slow down piping is a pioneering initiative
The jury looks for the most innovative idea or pioneering initiative that can be used to implement the work or fulfil the responsibilities of the water management authorities. The Water Innovation Award is an initiative from the Unie van Waterschappen (the Dutch association of water management authorities). It emphasises the importance of water innovations, working in partnership and sharing ‘best practices’.
Piping is a widespread phenomenon and it can have a major impact on dike stability
Piping, a process in which sand is washed out from below a dike, is widespread, and it seriously affects the stability of the dike. The current measures, the widening of dikes or the installation of sheet piling, are expensive and they take up a lot of space. Geotextile could be a good alternative: it is cheaper, easier to install and it takes up no extra space.
Geotextile tested on the IJkdijk
A trial on the IJkdijk in Bellingwolde (Groningen, Netherlands) in 2012 proved that geotextile can slow down piping. Deltares conducted the trial for the Rivierenland Water Authority, with co-financing from the ‘Room for the River’ programme.
Press Release, December 18, 2013