Burrowing animals present an ongoing management challenge both in aquatic and terrestrial settings. Degradation to dikes, berms, and shorelines of valuable water resources from animals such as muskrats, nutria, and beaver can lead to leaks that may start small but worsen with time. Holes and mounds from rodents like groundhogs and prairie dogs can destabilize primitive roads and right-of-ways and compromise landfill linings, introducing hazards. Sourcing appropriate backfill material – manmade or natural – is often problematic and the physical properties of conventional fill materials (e.g. concrete, stone, native clay, raw bentonite) have their shortcomings.
AquaBlok offers a simple and cost-efficient alternative that both repairs existing damage and discourages burrowing animals from re-excavating into the original cavity. The combination of the structural stability of the stone core in each particle coupled with the swell and low permeability of the bentonite “wrapping” when hydrated produces a durable and reliable seal. Plus, the rounded contours of the dry material make AquaBlok highly “flowable,” allowing for it to readily fill void spaces.
Unlike concrete that shrinks, cracks, and degrades – especially when buried and exposed to water – AquaBlok expands, self-heals, and remains flexible when wet. The consistency and structural competency of the stone-bentonite composite also outperforms native clays and even raw bentonite for these types of spot-treatment repairs.
Depending on the extent of the damage (volume, depth, and complexity of the tunneling) sealing can be as simple as placement of a small amount of product into the entrance hole of an animal burrow such that the material is at least one foot thick. Larger and more complex damage caused by tunneling and multiple entry excavations typically require a broader application over a larger area. Each “run” can be addressed individually, or when adjacent to water, a vertical core trench can be cut at the upper limit of the infestation and backfilled with AquaBlok – creating a structurally stable wall of sealant material.
Smaller and simpler backfills can often be accomplished using hand tools (e.g. shovels, spades, etc.). More extensive damage may require a hand auger, trencher, or even mini-excavator.
Product requirements for this application vary. For single cavity applications, one to several 50-lb. bags of AquaBlok may be sufficient. If a larger excavation is needed to insure complete reinforcement, handling AquaBlok in bulk bags – by the cubic yard – may be more cost-efficient (particularly where equipment is already available on-site). AquaBlok has a dry bulk density of ~90 lbs/cubic foot. This means that a 50-lb bag is roughly enough to fill a 5-gallon bucket and a cubic yard of dry material weighs approximately 2,400-lbs.