Assessment of Service Life of Salt Water Detention Ponds

Evaluation of VDOT’s Saltwater Detention Ponds  

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) maintains almost 200 saltwater detention ponds within the Commonwealth. The primary purpose of the ponds is to collect the runoff from the staging areas or loading decks next to the salt storage domes and to prevent the saltwater to infiltrate into the earth and reach the groundwater table. This is achieved by storing the runoff for evaporation, reuse, or disposal. The functionality of the pond is directly related to the integrity of the pond liners. Most of the salt ponds constructed after the 1980s in the commonwealth of Virginia are lined using roofing materials (i.e. bitumen roll roofing).

The focus of this study is to identify the factors causing deterioration of pond liners and to estimate the service life of the roofing type liner material used in VDOT facilities. The field survey will be conducted to investigate the changes of properties of liner materials with different service time. Laboratory aging tests, including elevated immersion test and UV weathering test, will be conducted to predict the degradation of liner material due to different factors. Combined with field survey and laboratory aging tests, a method of predicting the service life of roofing liner material will be proposed, which will help VDOT to manage and maintain the saltwater detention ponds.