Built in 1998, the natatorium at George Mason University serves a student population of over 30,000 during the semester. This state-of-the-art pool started experiencing cracks in the tile, raising shutdown concerns.
ABOUT THE CUSTOMER
The Jim McKay Natatorium has been home to numerous record-breaking swimmers, including Michael Phelps, Kate Ziegler, Tom Dolan, and Ed Moses. What makes this competition pool fast is the range of depths, temperature of the water, deep gutter system, and bulkheads that allow water to flow through easily. In addition, the lane lines are nonturbulent and alleviate waves.
The competition pool is 25 yards by 50 meters and surrounded by an all-tile deck. The pool utilizes an updated state-of-the-art automated pool filtration system that includes an ultraviolet system that helps reduce swimmers’ red eye, eliminates the smell of chlorine, improves natatorium air quality, and is effective in fighting bacteria.
The facility is located at the lowest elevation level on the entire campus. This subjected it to groundwater runoff and increased lateral earth pressure on the pool.
In order to prevent further damage, the fire department was called to refill the pool. But over the next two years, pool tiles continued to loosen from the deck.
In 2012, management noticed cracks in the pool deck after the pool had been drained for regular maintenance. After consulting with engineers it was discovered that the original Shotcrete walls of the pool were designed to support properly drained soils. However, the western wall of the pool was under the constant hydrostatic pressure of the saturated soils that surrounded it, permeating the pool walls and weakening the tile motar bed.
Various options were considered to relieve the pool wall of the hydrostatic pressure, including the addition of permanent groundwater wells around the building perimeter, installing soil nails, injecting cementitious grout, and URETEK’s Deep Injection® Process.
George Mason University chose URETEK’s Deep Injection® Process to perform the remediation. URETEK’s patented injection process is a non-destructive, extremely effective soil compaction and densification process to improve load bearing capacity of weak or loose soil strata and is extremely effective when applied into saturated soil environments.
URETEK’s Deep Injection® Process displaced saturated soil without increasing the load like cementitious grout, causing minimal disturbance to the University natatorium events and daily use. URETEK’s cost effective procedure was completed quickly, in less than 2 weeks, putting the natatorium back in use for the upcoming semester.