Specialists in Bluff Erosion & Failures

(262) 236-6778

Frequently Asked Questions

Wick Drains

Q: How do I know if wick drains are right for my property?

A: Wick drains are most effective when there are sand layers in the bluff. Soil borings should be done by a Geotechnical Engineer to see if your bluff contains these sand layers.

Q: How do wick drains work?

A: Wick drains safely reroute subsurface water away from unstable areas where seepage and pressure may cause bluff failure.

Q: Where does the drained water exit the bluff?

A: The water exits at the bottom of the bluff above the water line.

Q: Can the installation damage my home or utilities?

A: No. The wick drains can be installed under existing buildings and utilities. All municipalities require utility location prior to installation. We would also need a plat survey of the property before construction could begin.

Q: Do the wick drains clog up?

A: No. The wick drains are encased in filter cloth which prevents clogging and allows drainage by gravity. This has been verified during research performed by a PhD Geologist from the Colorado School of Mines.

Q: Are permits required to install wick drains?

A: Permitting requirements depend on the municipality. This ranges from no permits to several permits.

Q: How long does installation take?

A: The installation can take between three to seven days depending on the size of the bluff and footage required.

Q: What type of equipment is used to install the wick drains?

A: We use two pieces of equipment: a water truck and a driller. The water truck is a long bed truck that can be parked on the street or in the driveway. The drill needs a nine foot wide clearance to get on the property.

Q: Is the installation messy?

A: We take all necessary steps to minimize disturbance to your property. Plywood is put down to minimize effects of tire tracks. Excess slurry from the installation at the top of the bluff is vacuumed up after completion. We will work with you to move or protect plantings, bushes and trees.

Q: Will the project be noisy?

A: Yes, the drilling is considered noisy. Installation will only be performed during hours designated by the noise ordinances. This is usually means no drilling before 7am and after 5pm.

Q: Is yearly maintenance required after installation?

A: No maintenance is required after installation.