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Vertical Drainage

When construction takes place on soft soils such as clay and peat, water will dissipate from the soil due to the increased pressure. The low permeability of such soils means that it takes a long time for the water to dissipate.

This process is called consolidation, and can take decades. The soil will settle continuously during this time, to the detriment of any structures above ground.



Wicks - one of the market leaders for the supply and installation of prefabricated vertical drains.

The most economical way of speeding up the consolidation process is by installing prefabricated vertical drains (PVD), also called wick drains, into the soft soil at regular intervals. The water in the pores then only needs to travel a short distance to the nearest drain, from where it will easily flow to the surface.

Prefabricated vertical drains are highly effective to reduce long-term settlement. The result is a much more stable working surface that simplifies the design, leading to lower overall construction costs of the follow-on structures.

Wicks owns a wide range of excavator-based PVD installation equipment designed specifically to meet our requirements. Our powerful rigs can install drains down to 60 metres depth at high speed.

Marine PVD installation

Similar to installation of PVD on land, PVD can also be installed under water. In this case the PVD installation rigs are placed on a floating barge. The barge is held in place by anchors or spuds.

Marine PVDs are a cost-effective way to improve soft clays under future breakwaters and subsurface slopes.

Wicks has a good track record for the installation of marine PVD. Being part of Van Oord gives us an advantage with regards to the required floating equipment and working methods.

Our innovative solutions deliver outstanding quality and safe operations during marine operations. Our integrated data recorders with GPS positioning ensures that each drain is installed at the right location and to the required depth, even under water.