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Paper no. 7.21a (R)

Stanciu A. Boti N., Lungu I., Donciu O.

Technical University “Gh. Asachi” Technical University “Gh. Asachi”
Iasi 700050, Romania Iasi 700050, Romania


The paper presents a case study of a water tank with a storage capacity of 5,000m3 in difficult site conditions. The lithological
succession reveals a collapsible soil over a thickness of 9m. The direct founding of the water tank at shallow depth was performed on
a compacted soil cushion of 1.50m thickness.

The collapsible soil is clayey loess, very sensitive to wetting, with supplementary strains due to wetting im3 > 2cm/m (4.8-5.5cm/m).
Over the entire 9m depth, the collapsible layer can develop of supplementary settlement due to complete saturation under the effect of
the geological pressure Imgc = 15,57 cm < 20 cm, that includes the soil to the group A of loess, where supplementary settlements are
relevant only under the loads delivered by the footings.

The settlement prediction of the supplementary values due to complete saturation was performed in a structural assessment work as a
consequence of important water leakage from the tank during the filling tests. The water leakage created the condition of saturation
that exceeded the compacted soil stratum and entered the natural ground underneath that is highly sensitive to wetting.

The foundation soil behavior is presented under the effect of the pressures delivered from the footings of the column, raft and wall.
The pressure diagram included the following pressures: p1 = 0.542 daN/cm2 as the net pressure due to the water load on the raft
uniformly distributed, when the tank is filled to its full storage capacity; p2 = 0.815 daN/cm2 as a supplementary pressure delivered by
the column, due to the combination of the dead load and half the roof elements subjected to the snow load; p 3 = 0.632 daN/cm2 as a
supplementary pressure delivered to the annular footing by the tank wall, due to the combination of the dead load and half the load
from the roof elements subjected to the snow load.

When discussing accidental water infiltration into the ground, three working hypotheses have been considered regarding soil
saturation: the 1st hypothesis considers water leakage at the joint between the column footing and the adjoining raft; the 2nd hypothesis
considers that water leakage occurs at the joint between the annular footing and the raft; the 3rd hypothesis considers that water
leakage occurs at all joints between the raft and other footings, including the radial joints within the raft surface.

The three hypothesis of soil saturation indicate that the higher risk for the tank stability is the one created by a supplementary
settlement of the central column in case the water leakage occurs the column footing joining the raft (approximately 22cm in 37 days
for an infiltration rate of 14.14m3/24h). The water infiltration along the tank perimeter would require a higher volume of water and a
longer duration to reach saturation 183 days, which induce a lower risk for the tank stability, considering that previous situations
reported collapse of the soil on 1/3 of the perimeter without structural collapse.

The settlement prediction was introduced for a structural assessment of the tank itself. As a result, consolidation works have been
performed consisting mostly in jacketing the walls and the raft, together with remedy works for the water proof system.

Key words: loess, sensitivity to wetting, supplementary settlement due to wetting, compacted soil cushion, water leakage.