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Geosynthetic Practice standardizes leak detection method.

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November 10, 2011 - ASTM D7703, Practice for Electrical Leak Location on Exposed Geomembranes Using the Water Lance System, standardizes geoelectric method used to detect potential leaks in exposed electrically isolating membranes in field in containment applications. Using this practice to geoelectrically test geomembranes prior to placing containment system in operation will minimize leakage. Expected users include regulatory agencies, containment system designers/owners, and geoelectric surveyors.

New ASTM Geosynthetic Practice Standardizes Leak Detection Method

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ASTM International
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West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: November 8, 2011

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.-A new ASTM International practice standardizes a geoelectric method used to detect potential leaks in exposed electrically isolating membranes in the field in containment applications.

The new standard, ASTM D7703, Practice for Electrical Leak Location on Exposed Geomembranes Using the Water Lance System, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D35.10 on Geomembranes, part of ASTM International Committee D35 on Geosynthetics.

According to Tim Bauters, P.E., Ph.D., senior engineer, Golder Associates Inc., and first vice chairman of D35, many modern landfill cells, lagoons, impoundments and ponds are lined with synthetic materials such as high density polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride to prevent leakage.

"Particularly for new landfill cells, leachate lagoons or waste impoundments, rapid and accurate detection and pinpointing of leaks can prevent costly site closures, delayed permitting/opening and, in the worst case, cleanup costs," says Bauters. "Even for ponds containing benign materials such as irrigation or drinking water, leaks can cause costly site damage from washouts or sinkholes as well as loss of revenue."

Using ASTM D7703 to geoelectrically test the geomembranes prior to placing the containment system in operation will minimize the amount of leakage. The new standard will be used by regulatory agencies, designers of containment systems, owners and geoelectric surveyors.

All parties with an interest in geomembranes are invited to participate in the ongoing standards developing activities of D35.10.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585; ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

View this release on the ASTM Web site at

ASTM Committee D35 Next Meeting: Feb. 1-3, 2012, January Committee Week, Atlanta, Ga. Technical Contact: Tim Bauters, Ph.D., Golder Associates Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., Phone: 408-220-9223;

ASTM Staff Contact: Christine Sierk, Phone: 610-832-9728; ASTM PR Contact: Barbara Schindler, Phone: 610-832-9603;
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