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End of the liquid lunch

CONTRACTS

CONTRACTORS BUILDING a basement restaurant at the Ross Hotel in Killarney were at their wits' end trying to stop groundwater surging into the excavation.

Help arrived in the form of resin injection processes applied by Uretek which enable the project to restart after substantial delays.

The water table in the area is about 1m below ground, and as the excavation extended 6-7m down, there were constant problems with flooding - despite submersible pumps, secant piling around the site perimeter and pumped concrete placed behind the piling.

'There were significant gaps between the piles, and because of the high water table, water was coming in as we were digging, ' said Sean O'Callaghan, site manager for Sean Clifford Building Contractor.

'We tried sealing the excavation with concrete cement grout, but that didn't work too well; it was being washed away.' Uretek used specialised hydroinsensitive resin injected at 1m intervals behind the pile face, 2m from the base of the piling.

The liquid resin sets off within seconds, forming a closed cell impermeable barrier which successfully sealed the gaps between the piles.

The subcontractor's team was on site for 15 days working to stop the water flowing into the excavation, allowing construction to proceed.

'We had had to stop digging because of the volume of water ingressing and if we hadn't come across Uretek, I honestly don't think we would have been able to physically get down to the level required for the basement, ' O'Callaghan said.

Uretek finished its £60,000 contract in August. The main work on the hotel is due to complete in June 2006.

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