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RE: CMU in water/wastewater

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Bill,
With all of the appropriate precautions, you should be able to use CMU, but I am surprised it would be considered in your application. I would doubt that it would be economical. Elsewhere in the basin you will have a lot of CIP concrete walls. To use CMU you will have to bring on another trade (masons) to do the CMU walls. This invariably will lead to conflicts between trades for yard space, water, electricity, and other construction site resources.

I would caution against it. If ANYTHING goes south, you could be put into the blame crosshairs because you said that it was OK and it is NOT the normal practice.

The higher CMU porosity will also result in more wicking than you would see otherwise.

Save the grief and just go with the traditional CIP walls.

Regards,
Harold Sprague





From: "Sherman, William" <ShermanWC(--nospam--at)cdm.com>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: CMU in water/wastewater
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:53:43 -0500

I have been asked to consider the use of CMU for flow divider walls in a
wastewater basin, for cost reduction vs concrete.  My understanding is
that CMU has been used in submerged conditions in water treatment, but
I'm not sure about wastewater applications.  Do any others have
experience with submerged CMU?

I would assume that submergence in water actually helps keep a "moist
cure" and prevents drying, although the top of wall would be above the
water surface.  Anyone had any problems with the exposed portion of CMU
due to differential moisture or due to potential freezing in a moist
condition?  Or problems during maintenance with basins dewatered, i.e. a
change in moisture conditions?

The location in the wastewater treatment process is at a point where
hydrogen sulfide attack is not a significant problem.  But it seems
undesirable to allow waste materials to seep into relatively porous CMU
vs a denser concrete, even if the CMU maintains its strength.  Any other
thoughts on such usage?


William C. Sherman, PE
(Bill Sherman)
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)cdm.com

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