What are Geotubes? How are They Installed?

geotube installation

The Geotubes are also known as geobags — used for sludge dewatering projects of different sizes because of their simplicity and low-cost factor.

They are containers that are hydraulically filled with a slurry mix of sand and water. The hydraulic pressure helps to transport the sand along the inside of the tube, while the water will dissipate through the permeable engineered fabric, then the sand will settle out within the container by gravity.

The Geotube system can be applied in different industries, including shoreline protection, land reclamation, island creation, wetlands creation, construction platforms, revetments, dykes, groynes, and offshore structures.

The system doesn’t operate with belts, gears, or complicated mechanics. Also, they are available in different sizes, depending on the volume and space requirements. They can even be mounted in mobile roll-off containers that can be transported around your property as necessary.

 

Functions and Applications

After the delivery and geotube installation, the sludge is treated with specialist polymers and then pumped into the containers. 

Consequently, clear effluent water is drained, leaving the solid within the container. When full, the containers are disposed of at a landfill, or the sludge can be removed and land-applied.

 

Application

The process is simple yet effective, which makes it ideal for the:

  • pulp and paper industries
  • Primary and secondary lagoon cleanout
  • Mining and mineral processing to remove railings
  • Coal sludge
  • Municipal wastewater treatment plants
  • Marine remediation
  • Power & utility
  • Pulp & paper
  • Light industrial
  • Agriculture including the dairy industry, piggeries, and abattoirs
  • Aquaculture
Geotube Technology

The Geotube system has also been used for water and wastewater treatment to provide a reduction of up to 85% to 90% in BOD and to efficiently manage waste in the dairy, poultry, and other agricultural industries.

Advantages

The geotubes containers offer many benefits, including:

  • High flow rate which allows residual to dewater, leaving behind the solids
  • Custom fabricated with seaming techniques that can withstand pressure during pumping operations
  • It can be custom designed and fabricated. It is a specially engineered system through advanced textile technologies
  • It is an excellent solution for revetments, breakwaters, dykes, and groynes

 

How are Geotubes installed?

The geotube installation process involves three steps: Filling, Dewatering, and Consolidation.

Step 1: Filling

During the filling stage, the dredged material is pumped into the Geotube container. 

Then, environmentally-safe polymers are introduced into the sludge, which makes the coagulate and the water to separate. 

geotube installation

Step 2: Dewatering

The clear effluent fluid drains from the Geotube container via small pores of a specially engineered textile. Consequently, you get an effective dewatering and efficient volume reduction of the contained materials. 

The volume reduction makes room for repeated filling of the Geotube container. With this, over 99% of the solids are captured, and a clear filtrate is collected and recirculated through the system.

 
geotube example

Step 3: Consolidation

After the final cycle of filling and dewatering, the coagulate is left in the bag and continues to densify as a result of desiccation as the residual water vapor escapes through the fabric. 

The volume reduction is usually as high as 90%. When the bag is full, the Geotube container and its content can be deposited at a landfill, left on-site, or the coagulate can be removed and land-applied.

Geotube technology is usually the most cost-effective option for treating a specific sludge or slurry stream. 

With a simple soil analysis and a hanging bag, you can determine the correct fabric and pore size to deploy sludge tubes in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. 

The overall geotextile tube performance will also be influenced by factors like the percentage of water content in the media, particle size, the shrinkage when dry, and the soil composition. For more information, contact us to discuss about your next project.