Western Australia Chapter

Failures in Dewatering for Diaphragm Wall (and Similar) Deep Excavations

Mike Hillman


Many failures have been recorded globally, in deep foundation excavation works within diaphragm wall or similar enclosures relating to water inflow. The issues appear to be relatively straight forward – so why is the industry getting this wrong? Examples of failures are presented, primarily from the presenter’s experience investigating dewatering problems in the Middle East and in Western Australia. Lessons learnt are discussed.

Mike Hillman

Mike Hillman works in the related fields of groundwater engineering, geotechnical engineering and mine geotechnics. He established the Perth (Australia) operation of Coffey, and managed the development of that office for 13 years.

He has project managed the geotechnical and groundwater design input for major urban and rural Infrastructure projects, in excess of 100 mine sites, (providing design advice on water supply and dewatering, tailings management, water management, and mine geotechnics), for process industries, and for town site developments.

Mike has worked in the United Kingdom, Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. He has contributed to the profession through publications and formal presentations. Mike is a Senior Principal based in Burswood, Perth.

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