Bureau of Reclamation Banner

Demonstration Project to Implement Electro-Osmotic Pulse (EOP) Technology to Stop Water Leaks Through Concrete

Project ID: 7226
Principal Investigator: Daryl Little
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014
Keywords: electro-osmotic pulse, eop, concrete repair, leak repair

Research Question

Will Electro-Osmotic Pulse (EOP) technology be effective in stopping water leaks through concrete in locations with various cracks sizes and under high head? How much will EOP decrease the relative humidity of the concrete structure? How long with the system last before replacement of the components is required?

Need and Benefit

A main goal of BOR is the delivery of water and power. Dams, pipelines, and canals are among the structures built with concrete that are used for this purpose, but they can often have leaks. The leaks represent lost water in many cases, usually cause maintenance problems and expenses, and can cause loss of revenues related to water delivery and power generation.

Due to the cracks and leaks in the concrete, water migrates through the concrete and can lead to calcium carbonate deposits which can interfere with gate operations, can plug drains, result in standing water in chambers, and cause significant corrosion problems of any metal in contact with the leaking water.

This is a common Reclamation problem. Existing methods for these types of repairs are very expensive and are limited in application. To date, in many cases, the only solution is continual maintenance of leaking structures. The continual repair and maintenance is difficult and expensive due to the location and materials.

Although this technology seems promising and has worked on a small test section at Trinity Dam, facility managers and operators are reluctant to try it until its effectiveness is better understood in areas with numerous cracks of various sizes and under high heads. This research will help to determine if this technology is a viable solution to this problem. If so, it will be useful all throughout Reclamation. If this technology is effective for these kinds of leaks, repair costs will be greatly reduced, since repairs will be a one time fix versus continuous repairs.

Research Products

An operational manual will be produced from the project along with a final report describing the project, results and recommendation for future use of this repair method. It is also desired to present this project and publish the results in various external bulletins and journals.

This information was last updated on September 17, 2014
Contact the Research and Development Office with questions or comments about this page