Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

How do you consider the effect of seepage on the stability of the embankment if you have pipe piles peneterating
an embankment? We have an ebmankment nearby a river with piles penetrating the embankment and socketed in rock.
We have two cases, rapid drawdon and flood. I understand that when seepage occurs around the pipe piles, the
pile skin friction will be reduced.

I am wondering how to model the seepage around the piles in programs such as SEEP/W or hand calculation? Do we consider the pile width as the full blanket width? Do we assume that the pile will act as a vertical drainage blanket?

Any references, books, or articles dealing with seepage around pipe piles in embankments?


RE: Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

I am trying to understand how the piles will have any appreciable effect on the phreatic surface. Are these vertical piles? I am assuming that the piles were installed through the completed embankment. There may be some disturbance of the embankment soils that was caused by installing the piles. This would depend to a great degree on how they were installed. If they have loosened the embankment soils, perhaps it allows increased flow through that area. If they were driven piles, perhaps they have not done that. Not sure how the pile would act like a chimney drain unless you are assuming that either they are perforated pipes or there is unconsolidated material or granular material around the pipe which allows water to flow. A sketch might be useful...

RE: Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

These are vertical piles. The idea is that penetrating the permeable layer by many piles will create a seepage path that will affect the integrity of the levee by introducing seepage problems.  

RE: Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

In a levee or dam, penetrations are always to be avoided whenever possible, because they cause discontinuities in the embankment where internal erosion (piping) is more likely to initiate.  That's your concern, right?  Not slope instability.

The seepage analysis around the piles is 3D, not really possible with Seep/w.  Probably much easier to design remedial measures, such as a weighted filter on the land side of the levee, if that's where the piles are.  Post a sketch?

Seep/w and flow nets are continuum models, whereas internal erosion is more likely to initiate at discontinuities.  Keep that in mind while analyzing.

Bon chance!


RE: Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

Thanks for the great advice. Any suggestion of a computer program that can do the 3D analysis? Do you consider a seepage path just along the pile or do you model a zone (say 0.5 ft) around the pile while considering the pile as a rigid body?

RE: Seepage around pipe piles in embankments

I don't believe I would do any 3D analysis unless I had a very clearly identified need for it, in addition to enough good soil info to make it meaningful.  (Remember also the continuum/discontinuity issue I mentioned.)  For a levee job, I would be a little surprised if either of those conditions are met.  The analysis is bound to be expensive if you need to get more info to support it, and it isn't worth the paper to print out the results if the stratigraphy and material properties aren't well established, or at least well bracketed.

Therefore, I would start by looking at how the piles would create a failure, by identifying the chain(s) of events beginning with storage against the levee, initial particle movement, path of transported particles, etc., ending with the breach.  If there is a plausible failure mode, look at  what you can do to mitigate it.  You might find the fix to be much cheaper than the analysis - maybe just a few truckloads of sand and gravel around the piles.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close