Wick Drains

Wick drains, also called Prefabricated Vertical Drains (PVDs), are installed in soft soils in order to accelerate consolidation of the soil by providing additional drainage paths for porewater to escape. Wick drains are often installed prior to placing a pre-load/surcharge, which applies the stress necessary to accelerate drainage and consolidation, resulting in increased soil strength.

Wick drains consist of a corrugated, sheet-like core that is wrapped in a filter fabric. They are installed by pushing a mandrel, or stitcher, through the fine-grained, soft soil layer.

Subsurface Constructors has completed several wick drain projects, mostly on DOT projects that require an earthen embankment approach to an MSE Wall abutment, and ultimately a bridge structure. The wick drains are used to help accelerate consolidation of the soils below the earth embankment. Often, vibro stone columns (i.e. aggregate piers) are installed beneath the MSE wall to support the wall.

Contact Subsurface Constructors today for expert guidance on wick drains for your ground improvement project.

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