Vertical Drain Installation

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Band shaped prefabricated synthetic wick drain is the most frequent used product to serve as the drain column in vertical drainage system which is utilized to accelerate the consolidation process of compressible layer(s) of subsoil.

Performance of synthetic wick drains, like all the other products used in the vertical drainage system, depends heavily on the installation of the drain column. Hence, the installation shall be carries out only by specialist. It shall be done by minimum displacement method and as such to ensure that the drains are not damaged, kinked, or distorted.

For most of the projects, considering the soft nature of the subsoil, it is proposed to apply the so called “static method of installation”. In this method, the construction of the stitcher have been made it possible to use a mandrel with a minimum cross sectional area (approximately 100 sq.cm) resulting in a negligible disturbance to the surrounding soil. Consequently, the stitcher is operated in under a relative low installation force. Hence, prior to installation, any fill on top of the ground shall be carefully selected and have a limited in thickness so it won’t cause difficulties to the installation. Normally, material coarser than sand should be avoided, and thickness of fill -including reclamation material placement, as if may be - shall be not more than few meters.

The Sequence of Vertical Drainage Wick Installation :

The sequence of vertical wick drain installation will be as directed by the Project Engineer and/or specifications in conjunction with all “as-built” drawings and logs. All vertical wick drain will go to maximum allowable/”anchorable” depths or until refusal as defined in the specs and logs. Installation is also contingent on obstructions both above and below ground.

Method of Vertical Drainage Wick Installation :

  1. Thread the vertical drainage wick off the wick roll/spool, up the wick tube, and over the top wick roller and down through the mandrel.

  2. Place the drainage wick through or around the anchoring device and tuck the loose end of the wick up into the mandrel about 6-8 inches. Pull the drainage wick’s excess slack tight through the mandrel and vertical drainage wick tube by reversing the vertical drainage wick roll by hand. By reversing the vertical drainage wick spool or wick roll, the anchoring device will retract up tight against the bottom tip of the mandrel. This will prevent dirt or mud from entering the mandrel during the insertion of the mandrel into the ground.

  3. Move the machine/mandrel to the specified vertical drainage wick location and insert the mandrel with anchoring device in place using static force (and/or vibratory force if necessary) into the ground to the desired depth.

  4. Extract the mandrel, leaving the anchoring device and the completed or installed vertical wick drain in place, uncontaminated and at the proper depth.



  5. Cut the vertical wick drain off at the specified length above the working surface.



Splicing Vertical Drainage Wick :

Vertical Drainage Wick is supplied on wick rolls. Each wick roll will hold about one thousand feet of drain or 305 meters. Once the wick roll is used up, a splice is necessary to add the next wick roll. To splice, cut the end of the previous wick roll at an angle and stuff it inside the end of the new wick roll. Then staple them both together as shown.vg

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