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Soil stabilization, construction techniques and materials are the major components of any type of containment structure. Natural clay liners are geologically stable and have longer projected life expectancy than most man-made materials. Clay liners are self-healing when put under stress. Nutra-Bond Plus works well with clay soils to assist in compaction and density. It also enhances cohesiveness and binding of soil particles.
The complexity of containment structures and ponds is influenced by:
  • Geographic location
  • Site topography
  • Rainfall
  • Ground water conditions
  • Soil conditions

Bearing values
Expansive nature
Subsidence danger
Frost, etc

  • Type of material to be contained

Water / other liquids
Combination liquid / solid materials
Mixture of inorganic and organic wastes
Anticipated level of toxicity

Engineers use well-defined specifications in their designs of containment structures. The design and supervision insures that a proper liner has been installed and that it will meet the intended use over a specified time. Installation costs also play an important role in design. Use of soil-clay liners has been very cost effective and meets long term design standards.

Several construction methods and materials are used in containment structures and ponds. Liner materials include natural clay and soil, synthetic liners, soil cement and others.


Type of construction (equipment and expertise)
Construction supervision and testing
How carefully will material be placed over the liner?
What stresses will the liner material see over time?
What unplanned event can occur to breach the liner’s integrity,      causing cracks, punctures or other liner breach?
What is the life expectancy of the synthetic liner material?
What substances might be present to degrade the synthetic material in the future?

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Nutra-Bond Plus and Containment Structures

Whether a natural soil or synthetic liner is used, the underlying surface must be stabilized prior to putting the liner on top. This is an area where Nutra-Bond Plus can be very effective. It will assist in compaction, producing greater soil strengths and reducing permeability. Once the material has been treated and compacted, it is in a long-term natural state that will resist degradation.

Nutra-Bond Plus has been specified by engineers for use in construction of a natural soil liner (clay type with low permeability). Nutra-Bond Plus increases soil density and decreases permeability. Construction includes compacting the material in 6-inch (15-cm) lifts, using proper compaction equipment and the correct amount of moisture to obtain maximum density. Nutra-Bond Plus is a non-toxic biocatalytic multiple enzyme product distributed by Specialty Sales LLC. The technology of Nutra-Bond Plus’s biochemistry is proteinaceous and enzymatic in nature. It has been used for over 30 years.

For Waste Containment or Landfill construction, Nutra-Bond Plus is used to assist in compacting clay containing soil into a better containment barrier, that will meet regulatory requirements. Common to all systems of construction waste containment structures, testing and special analysis involving soil type and characteristics are required.

When site and pond size have been specified, soil core samples are taken for laboratory analysis. The tests will include particle size determination using ASTM-D-422 Method, as well as a hydrometer test without Nutra-Bond Plus to demonstrate the condition of the soil clay content. Laboratory permeability tests must then be run on soil samples with and without the appropriate Nutra-Bond Plus treatment. Tests should be conducted over a wide range of densities so compaction requirements may be specified. If soil tests show a two-micron clay content of less than 20%, it is often necessary to use borrow soil to achieve an adequate clay concentration with the on-site soil.

The pond excavation can be achieved with standard earth moving equipment used in any standard pond construction. The low-permeability soil liner, mixed and treated with Nutra-Bond Plus, is to be compacted in 6-inch (15 cm) lifts. Total thickness is specified by the desired permeability coefficient. The loss rate for a field liner can be predicted from laboratory data using the following. It is often best to leave the actual mathematics to a qualified engineer.


Barclay’s Law:

For Unit Area Q=K x h/l = K x d + 1/l

Q Flow rate, cm per day
K Permeability coefficient under unit gradient, cm/sec
h Total head in meters
l Soil lining thickness in meters
d Water depth in meters
h/l Hydraulic gradient equals the total head (depth of water) in meters divided by the soil lining thickness

Each 6-inch (15-cm) layer is mechanically mixed, adding water and Nutra-Bond Plus as required. One gallon of Nutra-Bond Plus treats 165 cubic yards of material which is diluted with sufficient water to bring the soil-clay material close to optimum moisture. This mixing may be done off-site or in place, whichever is most suitable. Uniform mixing can be obtained by discing with an offset disc to a depth of 6 inches (15 cm) or by an approved mixing methods such as a blade, pulverizer or other means available. During compaction, Nutra-Bond Plus performs several beneficial functions. It "wets" the clay particles, thus permitting a higher compaction density [98% to 102% of optimum density (ASTM-D-698)]. The macromolecules in the Nutra-Bond Plus product provide a "surfactant-like" property that aids dispersion of soil particles and provides certain "cementation" effects.

After mixing, the material is spread over the subgrade or previously completed layer to the depth required to yield a 6-inch (15-cm) compacted layer. Each layer is compacted to at least 95% as determined by AASHTO Method T-99. The density is verified with a nuclear moisture density meter or other laboratory test method. Compaction is achieved with a sheepsfoot roller and the surface is worked to a smooth finish with a rubber tire or smooth steel-wheeled roller. The final grade should be within 1 inch (3 cm).

Upon completion of a layer of liner material, successive layers are installed by the same procedure. Immediately prior to spreading the treated material, the subgrade or the previous compacted layer should be moistened to permit bonding between layers.

Upon completion of the top layer, the liner is ready for use. Throughout construction of the liner there is no concern about punctures as in the case of synthetic liners. Also, the liner has been stabilized to the surrounding soil and is monolithic – able to withstand a variety of environmental conditions -- temperature, settlement and load stresses. Usually there is no overburden protective layer required, as in the case of a synthetic plastic liner.

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