In the midst of a multiple-year drought that cracked its concrete structure and emptied its reservoir, the Jucazinho Dam in the northeast corner of Brazil has been completely renovated and repaired in time for this year’s expected rainy season. A range of PENETRON crystalline products were used to ensure a waterproof and durable concrete structure.
The after-effects of Pernambuco State’s worst drought in 60 years left the Jucazinho Dam virtually empty. Completed in 1998, the dam is 100 meters (330-feet) high and 442 meters (1,460-feet) wide and has a reservoir capacity of 327 million m³ (86 billion gallons) of water, making the Jucazinho Dam the largest reservoir in Pernambuco.
The Companhia Pernambucana de Saneamento (Compesa), the state operator of the dam, reports that the Jucazinho Dam once provided drinking water to 800,000 people in the 15 surrounding municipalities. Since the beginning of the drought, the extent of this service has been drastically reduced over the past 5 years.
The exposure to drying temperatures and sporadic rain led to water infiltrating the cracks and joints of the dam’s concrete structure, causing further concrete deterioration and partial scaling of the dam’s concrete surfaces. In 2013, a government report recommended repairing the dam’s concrete walls and drainage galleries.
Once the rains return, the dehydrated structure may rupture, endangering the nearby town of Surubim and even flooding the city of Recife, 124 km (77 miles) away on the Atlantic coast, further threatening around three million inhabitants.
“Fissures were found in the dam’s structure during inspections made last year,” said Roberto Tavares, President of Compesa. “The dam really needs extensive repair and renovation."
The technical experts at Penetron Brazil worked with the National Department of Waterworks (DNOCS), a federal agency, to come up with an appropriate repair and renovation solution. After careful examination of the damaged concrete walls and the drainage galleries, the right mixer and spraying pumping systems were selected to ensure an effective spray application and sound adhesion of the enhanced shotcrete and the other surface-applied and injected crystalline treatments.
“We used a range of Penetron products to repair the damaged structures and waterproof all the exposed concrete surfaces,” says Cláudio Neves Ourives, Executive Director of Penetron Brazil. “Like all crystalline products from Penetron, they are completely non-toxic and contain no VOCs, making them an ideal solution for a reservoir that supplies drinking water.”
Restoration work started in January 2017. To seal the cracks and eliminate the surface scaling, the concrete walls were treated with a combination of PENETRON INJECT FLEX, a spray applied liquid sealer, PENESEAL PRO and PATCHLINE SM, a polymer-modified mortar. PENETRON INJECT FLEX, a resin injection, was used to seal 6,000 m (20,000-feet) of concrete joints. PATCHLINE SM was applied to over 20,000 m2 (220,000-square feet) of dam walls at a thickness of 2 cm. PENETRON ADMIX was added to the shotcrete to improve the concrete performance and waterproof the drainage galleries.
“Everyone is hoping the replenishing late summer rains that fall in April and May will finally return,” adds Cláudio Neves Ourives. “Until then, the renovated Jucazinho Dam is ready for the water!”