Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Calaveras Dam: Grouting in Numbers

What is grout? 
Most folks are likely familiar with using household grout for bathroom tiling work. Grout is a construction material commonly used to connect sections of concrete, fill voids, and seal joints. Grout is generally a mixture of water, cement, sand, and sometimes fine gravel.

How does it work for the dam?
The grouting operations are extremely important for the construction of the new replacement Calaveras Dam. Underneath the dam, we have designed a “grout curtain”. A grout curtain is a barrier that protects the foundation of a dam from water seepage and is used to strengthen the foundation of the dam. Essentially, the grout curtain fills cracks and fissures in the rock and works to control seepage and water flow. Our crews mix the grout onsite and inject the grout holes of the dam foundation. Holes are three inches in diameter and can reach up to a depth of 164 feet. Depending on the rock formation, the amount of injected grout used may differ.

Grouting Numbers Today
Over 589 holes have been grouted in the foundation. We have drilled almost 13 miles of grout holes. We have injected over 2.9 million pounds of cement grout into the foundation of the new dam.. How much grout is that? It is equivalent to approximately the same weight as 1,600 1967 model Volkswagen Beetles!

Grouting Operation taking place on the left abutment of the dam

Diagram of Grout Curtain – Calaveras Dam Replacement Project

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