Investigation of a leaking water line beneath residential foundation on expansive soils

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper presents the analysis of a slab-on-ground foundation influenced by a water line leak and the subsequent soil moisture condition and soil volume changes (shrink/ heave) in the supporting expansive soil. Several possible situations are considered: depth of leak and (1) edge swelling distortion mode resulting from a lengthy wet climate situation following a dry suction profile, (2) edge shrinkage distortion mode (center lift distortion resulting from a lengthy dry climate situation following a wet suction profile), and (3) edge shrinkage distortion mode resulting from a dry climate situation following an equilibrium suction profile. The analyses compares differential movements occurring from the no leak situation to that from a leak located at two different depths beneath the center of the slab foundation. The analysis also compares the resulting differential movements and the induced bending moments in the foundation structure. Some conclusions about the potential for water leaks beneath a slab foundation to cause structural distress to the supported superstructure are offered. Copyright ASCE 2006.

Publication Title

Geotechnical Special Publication