Design : Floating Covers’ and Geosynthetics’

Green Cosmos has been in association with Messrs. Geosynthetic Consultants Australia for more than fifteen years since the very first major floating cover construction project at the Three Cities Sanitation Scheme, a World Bank funded project located in Da Nang City, central Vietnam.

Geosynthetic Consultants Australia, based in Melbourne, is a company established to provide independent engineering services relating to the use of geosynthetic materials in civil engineering and particularly environmental engineering applications. It aims to provide an avenue for the engineering community to take advantage of a pool of specialized experience and knowledge in the use of geotextiles, geomembranes and related products. These services are available to project principals and owners, consulting engineers, contractors and suppliers of geosynthetic materials.

The Principal Engineer of the firm is Mike Sadlier, a civil engineer with over 30 years of experience in geotechnical and general construction, much of it associated with the use of geosynthetics. Additional experienced and skilled resources are available through an extensive range of associations and contacts in the geosynthetic community worldwide. Similar associations with  waste process design firms and specialist construction groups enables clients to be offered complete ‘turn-key’ packages should they desire.


  • Geosynthetic materials and system development and evaluation
  • Geosynthetic application conceptual and detail design
  • Geosynthetic material and application training and education
  • Geosynthetic project studies, budget and tender estimates
  • Project planning, organization, procurement and construction management
  • Design and construct geosynthetic projects
  • Site inspection and supervision
  • Quality control and quality assurance
  • Forensic studies of failures including analytical testing


The Company focus is based on practical solution development using the unique characteristics of the existing and growing range of geosynthetic materials.

Rates and fees are negotiable according to the nature and duration of the services required. A complete design and construct service can also be provided if required.

An interesting focus has grown from the development of geosynthetic lined and covered liquid containment systems which provide design options for alternative developments in areas such as:

  • Water Storage Reservoir liners and floating covers for water quality and evaporation control;
  • Anaerobic Digester floating covers for odor control, biogas harvesting and utilization;
  • Enhanced evaporation from lined ponds and floating covers;
  • Sand-filled geotextile containers for coastal and river

Floating covers use flexible geomembrane liner materials to provide covers that float on a body of water or other liquids.  Different materials and systems are used for different purposes.

Some of the more common uses of floating covers are:

  • Covers for water supply to control contamination, to control chlorine loss and to control losses of water to evaporation. These covers are usually required to accommodate large changes in water levels and are very often tensioned with ballast systems and use flexible reinforced geomembrane materials.
  • Covers for organic waste waters to generate anaerobic digestion processes to treat the waste water and generate gasses that can be used as fuels. These covers often operate at a fixed water level and may use less flexible geomembranes such as HDPE.

  • Covers to control evaporation losses of process water used in industry or mining. These may have combinations of the attributes of changing water level and fixed water level covers.

  • Covers to control entry of storm water that would enlarge the volumes of waste waters such as landfill leachates or mine tailings decant water.

 All varieties of floating covers require careful design to overcome wind uplift by combinations of ballasting and perimeter fixing.  Perimeter fixings may involve attachment to an anchor trench or beam but may also involve ballasted floating fixings in some circumstances.

Further details of our approach to floating cover work can be found in the attached technical papers.


Floating covers for Evaporation Control
Geosynthetics for Water and Wastewater
Geosynthetics in Mining

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