Performance evaluation of the Hydroluis drainpipe-envelope system in a saline-sodic soil

Seyed Abdollah Alavi*, Abd Ali Naseri, Azam Bazaz, Henk Ritzema, Petra Hellegers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Subsurface drains, when installed in non-cohesive soil, are typically covered with an envelope to tackle problems of clogging and siltation. Selecting a suitable envelope material, however, is complicated and depends primarily on soil characteristics in the area where the drains are to be installed. A new promising drainpipe-envelope concept, Hydroluis, has been developed which the designers claim works in a wide range of soils. The Hydroluis drainpipe consists of a corrugated inner pipe with three rows of perforations at the top and an unperforated outer pipe that covers the top two thirds of the inner pipe. We analysed the hydraulic and filter functions of this new drainpipe in a soil tank laboratory model with a saline-sodic problem soil from south-western Iran and compared Hydroluis performance with that of a locally-manufactured synthetic envelope material (PP450). The silty clay soil used in this study was 40 % clay, with a plasticity index (IP) of 16.9 and an exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) of 60.4 %. The Hydroluis drainpipe clogged during the first two weeks of the test due to invasion of the test soil into the space between the inner and outer pipes. Of the substantial volume of sediment that entered the Hydroluis inner pipe, 38 % removed from the pipe in the first day. In contrast, the PP450 drainpipe showed good hydraulic and filter functions, entering very little sediment to drainpipe during the entire test period and stabilizing at drainage rate of 28 mm/day and entrance resistance of 55 days/m, at around day 50. Our analyses suggest that the clogging and poor drainage function of the Hydroluis drainpipe was caused by the higher flow velocity (21.5 times higher) at the soil-envelope interface of the drainpipe, in addition to the lower Hydroluis drainpipe's soil retention capacity (18 times lower) compared to the PP450 drainpipe. Assuming Stokes’ Law governs filter function, the results of Hydroluis design evaluation also suggest that in stable soils, very fine sand or coarser soil particles (D > 0.05 mm) place no serious limitations for Hydroluis drainpipe application, whereas the current design is unsuitable for filtering fine silt particles (0.002 < D < 0.02 mm). In conclusion, we suppose the Hydroluis drainpipe does not perform well in silty saline-sodic soils, such as those found in south-western Khuzestan Province, Iran.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106486
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Early online date10 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Clogging
  • Filter function
  • New drainpipe
  • PP450 envelope
  • Soil tank test
  • Subsurface drainage


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