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RE: Water Bag Load Testing

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The crawl space under the structure is less than 4 feet with no utilities. If it goes it goes and would have gone next summer anyway so the City just has to make repairs a little sooner than it would have been required, except only water bags and no people will be involved.


D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, SECB

Senior Project Manager

Structural Department



200 Route 9

Manalapan, NJ 07726

732-577-9000 (Ext. 1285)

908-309-8657 (Cell)

732-298-9441 (Fax)



From: Harold Sprague [mailto:spraguehope(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 11:58 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Water Bag Load Testing


Please do not forget shoring for safety especially if you suspect a shear failure.  The shoring is also a good place to mount gauges.  The smaller the gap the smaller any impact.  Bending is not generally as much of a potential catastrophic failure, but calculate anticipated deflections.  If the deflections go off the chart, something is wrong and the test should be terminated. 

Regards, Harold Sprague

> Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 20:30:42 -0600
> From: stancaldwell(--nospam--at)
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Re: Water Bag Load Testing
> Matthew:
> I have unfortunately found it necessary to load test a number of
> concrete structures and have used bulk sand, barrels of water, and
> water pools. For your situation, the water pools would likely be the
> most practical. Use plastic sheeting and plywood forms to temporarily
> hold the water over one area. Then reuse the water and materials in
> the next area. This method is relatively simple and straightforward,
> and therefore, relatively inexpensive. However, all load tests are
> fairly expensive because of the required instrumentation and
> monitoring.
> Good luck,
> Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
> Richardson, Texas
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