I’m often asked how I prioritize my focus on a geomembrane installation project if I am the sole CQA inspector.

My answer is the same as what I tell people when they ask me how I spell a word – I put a disclaimer after my spelling to note that is how I spell the word without looking it up, and therefore I may not be correct.

The reality of priorities depends on multiple factors, such as the condition of the subgrade, the acceptance status and conditions of the geomembrane material, familiarity with the installer (particularly the crew), complexity of the job, and which activities are specifically happening at any given time.

I do not believe that one inspector on a geomembrane installation is sufficient, but when it comes to that, one of my top priorities will always be monitoring trial weld testing. Welding is one of the key components to a sound installation, and while there are the “cross-checks” of non-destructive and destructive seam testing of production seams, it is better to have the seam done right the first time than to end up with additional repairs in the geomembrane system that could have been avoided by getting the welding process correct before starting production seaming.

And, my tip to you should you not be able to cover the trial seams: have the installer put the actual test coupons with the archive piece of the trial seam so you can at least examine them later for peel and elongation.

Of course, when monitoring trial seams, you need to know what to look for. Here is a “fun” quiz to test your knowledge of trial seams. Good luck!

  • Trial Seams Quiz
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