For decades systems utilizing various types of vertical flow barriers have had to be constructed to contain polluted groundwater or leachate from contaminated sites or waste disposal areas. Many of the vertical barriers used in these systems were implemented and were assumed, or designed to maintain their impermeable and barrier qualities over the long term. In the years that have passed little data has been available for comparison of predicted long-term effectiveness of vertical barriers with actual results, thus long-term performance of vertical barriers in chemically and physically agressive environments remain uncertain and unproven. Composite barriers are an attempt to overcome these inadequacies and provide a database to go forward.
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