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At a presentation on segmental retaining walls several years ago, the speaker 
extolled at great length the virtues of his system.  At the end, when he 
invited questions from the audience, I asked:  "I don't know of any system 
where there are not some problems.  What problems should we look out for with 
your system?"

His initial reply was, "You have to ask the right questions."  Then I think 
that he had second thoughts about that answer and proceeded to list a litany 
of things that must be properly addressed to ensure good performance and 
adequate anchorage of the segmental blocks, including, IIRC, the proper pH of 
the soil being retained.

I think that what you should do is to contact the provider ofthe proprietary 
retaining wall system and ask, "What problems does your system have and what 
needs to be done to avoid them?"  And don't accept any answer that implies 
that there are no problems.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

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