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What is the function of waterstops in joints of box culverts and drainage channels?

The principal function of waterstops is to prevent liquids (e.g. water), water-borne materials and solids to pass through concrete joints. In essence, it aims at providing watertightness to the drainage channel.

Besides, waterstops in drainage channels or box culverts can also serve two other purposes:
(i) to avoid water contacting joints’ dowel bars and causing corrosion.

(ii) to avoid water seeping in from the underside of drainage channels or box culverts, thereby washing in soil particles and causing voids underneath these structures and finally leading to their failure. To serve the second purpose, obviously only one waterstop is required at any depth location.

To serve the first purpose, a waterstop has to be installed on top of dowel bars to prevent water from drainage channels from leaking through. On the other hand, a waterstop has to be provided below dowel bars to avoid underground water from surging upwards.


In fact, the other way out to serve the first purpose is by using corrosion resistant bars.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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One comment on "What is the function of waterstops in joints of box culverts and drainage channels?"

Victor Victor says:

Please, I want to know the concrete mix ratio for C10,C15,C20,C25,C30 and C35. Thanks.

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