Wick Drains speed up the consolidation of cohesive soils. Also used in conjunction with Stone Columns/Aggregate Piers, Compaction Grouting, and RIC installations to aid densification, allowing for accelerated verification of ground improvement.
Developed primarily to speed up the consolidation of cohesive soils, they are installed on a regular grid pattern typically ranging from 3-feet to 6-feet on center depending on ground conditions. The drains accept water from the consolidating ground in the radial direction and transport it to the vertical direction relieving excess pore water pressure.
In addition to their initial application, wick drains have proven to be beneficial in aiding the vibratory densification of varied soil conditions. Traditionally, soils containing high fines content have shown only limited densification improvement post installation from applications such as Stone Columns/Aggregate Piers, with the full improvement not measurable for many weeks after installation. However, by installing Wick Drains before Stone Columns/Aggregate Piers, effectiveness can be increased considerably, and the results of the improvement can be verified in a much shorter period of time.