Design and Build of Shoreline Sheet Pile Wall for Groundwater Flow Control

Geosyntec developed a cost-effective sheet pile wall system that incorporated MSE erosion protection features (gabions) to withstand extreme temperatures, storm-induced wave loadings, and earthquakes. Geosyntec developed a cost-effective sheet pile wall system that incorporated MSE erosion protection features (gabions) to withstand extreme temperatures, storm-induced wave loadings, and earthquakes.

Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Company has an oil refinery in Kenai, Alaska, on a bluff approximately 100-feet above the shores of the Cook Inlet. Historic practices at the site contributed to the presence of refined petroleum products in groundwater migrating toward the shoreline bluff. Tesoro retained Geosyntec to design and build a system to collect impacted groundwater and redirect it to a treatment facility.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

The Geosyntec system collected impacted groundwater along a 250-ft long section of the bluff and directed it to a central sump via a collection system. The collection system consisted of a barrier system and a collection gallery. The barrier consisted of a sheet pile wall that is keyed into the underlying clay aquitard. The interlocks of the sheet piles are sealed with a hydrophilic material to form an effective barrier. The collection gallery was installed on top of the clay aquitard on the inside of the wall and drained to a central sump area. From the central sump area, the contaminated groundwater was pumped into a 2,000-gallon capacity oil-water separator for preliminary treatment. The separated groundwater and petroleum product are pumped back to the refinery for final treatment and recovery, respectively.

The sheet pile wall was designed to withstand and constructed in extreme weather conditions. These weather conditions include the 30-ft tidal range of Cook Inlet, wave loading from storms, temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and large magnitude earthquakes.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec provided Tesoro with an innovative application of existing technology to accomplish their project objectives. Our approach consisted of sheet pile interlocks with a hydrophilic seal that replaced a two foot clay vertical barrier. Geosyntec also used a smaller sheet pile wall that was tied-back to a "deadman" as opposed to the larger, more commonly proposed "clamshell" style of sheet pile wall. As a result, Geosyntec's approach reduced Tesoro's implementation costs by several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Project Overview

  • Location: Kenai, Alaska, USA
  • Client: Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Company
  • Project Practice Areas: Contaminated Sites, Geotechnical
  • Type of Facility: Petroleum Refinery
  • Services Provided: Anchored Sheet Pile Wall Design; Erosion Protection Design; Global Slope Stability Evaluation; Groundwater Remediation System Design; Construction Management and Construction Quality Assurance Services; Regulatory Liaison and Permitting Assistance
  • Type of Work: Groundwater Collection
  • Company: Geosyntec Consultants
  • Governing Regulation: State Regulated
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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