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04 April 2008
oncor Technicrete’s Escoline precast concrete block - already used successfully to help prevent possible leakages from fuel storage and sewage farm installations - has been harnessed into a similar environment-protection role at the Tavistock coal mine in Mpumalanga Province.
Over 850 square metres of the block were used to surface a compacted earth bund wall supporting a 26m-wide steel storage tank containing slurry waste from a coal-washing process. The tank sits on top a huge cone-shaped mound, and its contents is regularly pumped out into slurry dams.
Escoline was originally designed for the protection of waterproof membranes on earth embankments in water-retaining structures, but has since proved its effectiveness in environmentally sensitive applications.
A major feature of its design is its tongue-in-groove vertical interlock creating a secure paved matrix. So, should the foundations move, the matrix remains in place, preventing blocks from moving individually.
“The management and containment of any hazardous waste-– in this case slurry - in the event of a leakage is of prime importance. In fact it’s a statutory requirement,” says a Technicrete spokesman. “To minimize the risk, areas have to be provided around the storage tank to contain any spilt material. This is usually done by the construction of a bund wall network, thus creating a retention dam around the fuel tank. By surfacing Tavistock’s bund wall with Escoline, additional strength and security was given to the whole protective structure.”
Civcon civil engineers were responsible for the installation of the Escoline blocks.