Enhanced stabilization of dikes and levees using direct current technology

J. Kenneth Wittle, Lawrence M. Zanko, Falk Doering, James Harrison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


A demonstration study conducted between late July and early October, 2006, at the Erie Pier Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) in Duluth, MN, suggests that direct current technology can simultaneously dewater and retard water movement through a leaking dike. Four electrode (anode and cathode) configurations/ combinations were tested between late July and early October, 2006, but the most significant effects took place within the first 14 days of operation, when measured dike leakage dropped by more than 70 percent and dike settlement/consolidation reached 50 percent of its final value. The results indicate that direct current technology can be an effective method for reducing water flow through a dike and physically stabilizing a dike structure via electrokinetic dewatering and through the in-situ electrolytic introduction of aluminum to the dike soil using aluminum anodes. Other indicators of the technology's impact include: changing piezometer levels over time; visible movement of water to both the horizontal and vertical cathodes; and significant electrochemical deterioration of the aluminum-donating anodes. It is recommended that these technologies be further applied and evaluated at "real world" sites where dewatering and consolidation of saturated soils and sediments is needed, accompanied by more rigorous and quantitative monitoring and measurement of project variables. Copyright ASCE 2008.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of session of GeoCongress 2008 - GeoCongress 2008
Subtitle of host publicationGeosustainability and Geohazard Mitigation, GSP 178
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
EventGeoCongress 2008: Geosustainability and Geohazard Mitigation - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Mar 9 2008Mar 12 2008

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherGeoCongress 2008: Geosustainability and Geohazard Mitigation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA


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