remout

IAV Sand Help Please

6 posts in this topic

I found ASTM C33 sand at a concrete plant, which also happens to be 1 mile from my house.

I tested it for the presence of clay and it showed none.

I next did the pour through test, adding 1 gal. of water to 4.5 gal. of sand with holes in the bottom of the bucket. The first time, pouring into dry sand, it absorbed almost all the water with less than 1/2 cup coming out the holes in the bottom of the bucket after 1 hours. Subsequent tests were all the same, all but 1 cup of water would drain through in 15 min with the remainder slowly dripping out.

My next test was to see if the sand affected the PH of my water. I have access to the city water system as well as shallow well water.

Well water tested 6.4 and then 6.2 after adding sand to it.

Tap water tested 7.4 and then 6.8 after adding sand to it.

Do you think this sand will work?

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Hi Remout,

The variations in your pH readings could be nothing more that variations produced by your test method.  If you used test strips, then anything's likely.....they are approximate at best.  If you used titration tests of the type found in API freshwater test kits, a couple of points either way.....from one test to another....is not uncommon.  Matching the colours in the vial against those on the card are subject to some variation.

If you want to determine whether your sand contains carbonates, take a small sample of sand (a jar lidful) and pour some plain vinegar on it.  If you want to determine if it has some acidic substance in it, take a small sample of sand (a jar lidful) and pour a solution of baking powder (bi-carb soda) and water.  In either test, bubbling suggests the presence of carbonate or something acidic respectively.   If I recall correctly, sand of the ASTM C33 spec is not supposed to have any carbonate content.

Your hydraulic conductivity sounds quite reasonable.  A US gallon = 18+ cups.....so to have just a cup remaining after 15 minutes suggests good drainage.

Based on the variations in test readings that I've experienced, I'm betting that your sand is inert.....just as you want it.

Let me congratulate you on your success at finding the correct sand in such short order. 

For the benefit of other US members....can I ask how much the sand costs per ton?

Gary

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21 hours ago, GaryD said:

Hi Remout,

The variations in your pH readings could be nothing more that variations produced by your test method.  If you used test strips, then anything's likely.....they are approximate at best.  If you used titration tests of the type found in API freshwater test kits, a couple of points either way.....from one test to another....is not uncommon.  Matching the colours in the vial against those on the card are subject to some variation.

If you want to determine whether your sand contains carbonates, take a small sample of sand (a jar lidful) and pour some plain vinegar on it.  If you want to determine if it has some acidic substance in it, take a small sample of sand (a jar lidful) and pour a solution of baking powder (bi-carb soda) and water.  In either test, bubbling suggests the presence of carbonate or something acidic respectively.   If I recall correctly, sand of the ASTM C33 spec is not supposed to have any carbonate content.

Your hydraulic conductivity sounds quite reasonable.  A US gallon = 18+ cups.....so to have just a cup remaining after 15 minutes suggests good drainage.

Based on the variations in test readings that I've experienced, I'm betting that your sand is inert.....just as you want it.

Let me congratulate you on your success at finding the correct sand in such short order. 

For the benefit of other US members....can I ask how much the sand costs per ton?

Gary

Gary,

I did the carbonate vinegar test and there was no bubbling. Thank you so much for your input!

I asked the owner for a price on (2) 10' x 2' x 2' grow beds worth of sand and he replied "How about $50". I think this was influenced by a couple of things. I used him for the foundation on the addition to my old house. He is really interested in these pre 1900 houses and really liked mine. He also was very interested in my IAV project and asked if he could come check it out. I'll get an off the street per ton price from him.

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Hi Remout,

It's good to see the ASTM C33 spec confirmed for our US members.  The whole process of identifying the correct sand becomes much easier when you can approach a vendor with a US construction standard.  This is construction sand and would be used in a host of different applications right throughout the US.

Depending on type and moisture content, the weight of a given volume of sand varies widely, however, if we assume that the sand is dry, the minimum likely weight would be 100lbs per cubic foot.  Your beds have a total capacity of 80 cubic feet = 8000lbs.....or around 3.5 tons.

I'd say that, at $50.00 for 3.5 tons, you are getting an excellent deal.  The regular price would be useful as a guide to our other members who do not have the  same relationship that you do with your vendor.

I should also say that you are good example of what happens when someone is able to read, understand and follow instructions.  You took a recommended standard, pursued it with a vendor and got what you needed......in short order.  You have put paid to the idea that iAVs sand is hard to find.  Congratulations!

Mark and I will be following your build with interest.

Gary

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20 hours ago, remout said:

 (2) 10' x 2' x 2' grow beds

What are the actual demensions of the (2) 10' x 2' x 2' grow beds, are those  the Inside or Outside?  Makes a big difference in determining holding capacity.

It's like building a house, the deminions on the plans are the outside, so for say a 2,000 s/f house area, the living area would be much less, unless you can get from 1 room to the next by having a wall as thin as the paper you are reading this from.

For every 3' of o/s walls with 2x4 framing and 1/2" sheetrock you lose 1 s/f of living space.

For every 2' -8'' of io/s walls with 2x4 framing and 1/2" sheetrock both sides you lose 1 s/f of living space.

What is the freeboard height with the sand level in the boxes, before the furrows are made. For  (2) 10' x 2' x 2' I/S demensions, for each 1" of depth you would subtract 3.33 C/F.

As to the weight of the sand go to Convert volume to weight: Sand, dry - Conversions and Calculations Yes, regular sand weighs 100 lbs/cf, but Quartz sand weighs 75 lbs/cf.

 

 

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Thanks for the help guys!

I'll be leveling my area, building my boxes, then getting 900 lbs or so at a time on my little trailer and shoveling it into place. With the sand so close to my house, no use paying for expensive transportation.

One more thought from a beginner on sand. I read river sand is not ideal, however I wanted to see what the wrong sand acted and felt like. I went up the road to our nearby river bank and grabbed some of the powder white sand on the banks. It failed the turbidity test, it was full of clay. It also did not want to let water through.

The good sand looks and feels completely different and now that I've played with the wrong stuff as well as the right stuff I'm beginning to gain some understanding about the heart of the system. I've actually had fun doing this.

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