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ASTM D7243-11(2020)

Standard Guide for Measuring the Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Paper Industry Sludges

Standard Guide for Measuring the Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Paper Industry Sludges D7243-11R20 ASTM|D7243-11R20|en-US Standard Guide for Measuring the Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Paper Industry Sludges Standard new BOS Vol. 04.09 Committee D18
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Significance and Use

4.1 This guide is intended to supplement the methods and procedures described in Test Methods D5084. When following the recommendations in this guide to test paper sludges, all assumptions and limitations described in Test Methods D5084 apply.

4.2 This guide only applies to hydraulic conductivity tests on paper industry sludges where one-dimensional laminar flow of water is imposed using a flexible-wall permeameter.

4.3 The hydraulic conductivity of sludges, and other porous materials, generally decreases as the degree of water saturation decreases. This guide applies only to water-saturated sludge containing negligible amounts of gas.

4.4 This guide applies only to permeation of paper industry sludges with water. Information on testing porous materials with liquids other than water can be found in Test Method D7100.

4.5 The hydraulic conductivity of paper sludge measured in the laboratory following Test Methods D5084 and the recommendations in this guide may or may not be comparable to the hydraulic conductivity of in-place sludge. The issue has not been fully investigated. Therefore, the results should be applied to field situations with caution and by qualified personnel.

Note 1: The quality of the result produced when using the recommendations in this guide depends on the competence of the personnel performing the testing and the suitability of the equipment and facilities that are employed. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing, sampling, inspection, etc. Users of this guide are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself ensure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.


1.1 Paper industry sludges are industrial by-products derived from wastewater treatment operations at plants associated with the manufacturing of paper. These sludges typically consist of clay and organic matter. They may also contain low levels of inorganic and organic contaminants and can be rich in microbes. Traditionally, paper industry sludges have been disposed in municipal solid waste landfills or solid waste monofills. However, in the interest of sustainability, applications are being developed where sludges can be used beneficially. One application is using sludge to construct hydraulic barriers (for example, for use in a landfill cap). Such applications generally require that the hydraulic conductivity of the sludge be measured.

1.2 Compacted paper industry sludges generally behave like soils and are amenable to geotechnical testing methods. However, several of their attributes require special attention during testing. Compacted industry sludges generally are highly compressible due to their organic component. Thus, their hydraulic conductivity can be more sensitive to the effective stress and hydraulic gradient applied during testing than most soils. The microbes in paper sludge can also produce gas during testing, confounding testing methods.

1.3 This guide is intended to supplement ASTM D5084, Test Methods for Measurement of Hydraulic Conductivity of Saturated Porous Materials Using a Flexible Wall Permeameter. The purpose of the guide is to provide additional guidance on issues relevant to testing sludges using Test Methods D5084. The guide applies to specimens compacted in the laboratory using procedures such as those described in Test Methods D698 and D1557 or undisturbed specimens collected from the field using procedures such as Practice D1587/D1587M or Practice D7015/D7015M.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. This standard contains a hazards section regarding the use of biocides (Section 10).

1.6 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project’s many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.09
Developed by Subcommittee: D18.04
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D7243-11R20
ICS Code: 13.030.20