2013 – Remediation of the Tekapo canal with a geomembrane liner

Neil Jacka, Christopher Dann, Jeremy Eldridge

The Tekapo Canal Remediation Works were undertaken to extend the life of the canal and enhance its seismic and environmental resilience. The deterioration of the canal lining in specific reaches has been the consequence of internal erosion of the lining under operating conditions.

The remedial works comprised installation of a supplementary geomembrane liner over selected sections of the canal, reconstruction of a culvert where the embankment had suffered piping, installation of filters in the Maryburn Fill, strengthening of the bridges across the canal and replacement of irrigation off-takes.

This paper presents a summary of key issues resolved during the design of the remediation works, in particularly the design of the geomembrane ballast system, the cofferdams and the management of side slope stability during drawdown for the works. A number of construction trials were carried out to confirm design assumptions and test construction techniques. The trials were a significant factor in the successful completion of the first season of work ahead of programme.

Keywords: Canal, Lining, Geomembrane, Cofferdam, Design, Seismic resilience

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