Supposedly the latest tech in keeping water out of (historically significant) bunkers is electro-osmotic pulse technology.

EOP is based on the principle of electro-osmosis—the movement of a liquid through a porous medium under the influence of an external electric field. CERL has optimized pulsed electro-osmosis technology for control of water intrusion within concrete and masonry structures and holds numerous patents related to the technology. EOP uses two sets of electrodes: one set is embedded just below the surface of the concrete walls or floors; the other is placed either in the surrounding soil or if the concrete wall is thick, deep within the wall.

A pulsing direct current voltage applied between the electrodes produces an electric field in the concrete, which moves water from the dry side (interior) toward the wet side (exterior), preventing moisture from reaching the inner surfaces of the concrete. A typical EOP system uses about the same amount of electricity as a 40-watt light bulb. By introducing EOP into dewatering wells, the soil can be quickly dried to levels well below the saturation point and maintained at that drier level.

I can't find much else on this topic that would support such an application of electro-osmosis, so this story smells fishy to me. Is this really a feasible way to keep water out of bunker?

I note that this story at least suffers from the usual ails of science journalism: how much water (and on what area) are those 40W capable of repelling... we're not told.


Googling "CERL Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory EOP" found this:

Electro-Osmotic Pulse (EOP) Technology for Control of Water Seepage in Concrete Structures

Quoting from the preface:

This study was undertaken to determine the conditions in which EOP technology works best.

In summary, EOP technology has a low maintenance cost, contributes to low cost of ownership per year and to long system lifetime. EOP technology is a much less intrusive repair technology than conventional methods. It is an environmentally sound solution when compared to many alternative coating systems high in volatile organic compounds. Because EOP is capable of acting as a negative side waterproofing technique, and because it works within the concrete itself, the technology may be especially effective when applied to counteract water seepage caused by rising damp. However, if large cracks or voids are present, EOP technology must be used in conjunction with standard repair technologies. The decision matrix included in this report should be used to determine where EOP can be used as an alternative waterproofing technology

  • Pertinently, this appears to be a publication by the US Army Corps of Engineers. – Ben Barden Feb 16 '18 at 14:50
  • More pertinently, essentially the same document is available from dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a419184.pdf - the fact that this was published by the army corps or engineers rather adds to its credibility. – Ben Barden Feb 16 '18 at 16:39

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