SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

Abating Coal Tar Seepage into Surface Water Bodies Using Sheet Piles with Sealed Interlocks


A former coal tar processing facility processed crude coal tar supplied from manufactured gas plants in the area. Coal-tar-contaminated ground water from the site was observed seeping through an existing timber bulkhead along a tidal river and producing a multicolored sheen on the surface of the river. As part of a short-term measure to abate the seepage into the river, 64-m long anchored sheet pile wall with sheet pile wing walls at each end was constructed inland of the timber bulkhead. The sheet piles extended to low-permeability soils at depth and the interlocks of the sheet piles were provided with polyurethane rubber seals. Based on postconstruction observations for leakage and sheens related to leakage, the steel sheet piles with polyurethane rubber interlock seals appeared to provide a successful seal and abate coal-tar-contaminated ground water seepage into the river. The tie rod penetration sealing proved to be a more problematic detail, but through several postconstruction grouting episodes, an effective seal was produced.

Author Information

Collingwood, BI
GEI Consultants, Inc., Winchester, MA
Boscardin, MD
GEI Consultants, Inc., Winchester, MA
Murdock, RF
GEI Consultants, Inc., Winchester, MA
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 220–226
DOI: 10.1520/STP16002S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5316-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2028-0