• Laboratory Evaluation of Water-Repellent Soils for Water Harvesting

      Fink, Dwayne H.; U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Reported are laboratory evaluations to screen water-repellent materials and treatments before testing them in the field. Water repellency tests were conducted on paraffin wax, a wax emulsion and silicon, lard, and a liquid dust suppressant. Six water repellency tests showed that the high rates of paraffin wax and all rates of the dust suppressant produced highly water-repellent soil surfaces. The six water repellency tests were: (1) the aqueous-alcohol drop test for determination of the 90 degree surface tension for a porous solid, (2) the water drop penetration time test, (3) the relative height of a large sessile water drop resting on the smoothed, treated soil surface, (4) and (5) the presence and persistence of air bubbles trapped between the soil-water interface, and test (6) was made to note whether the large sessile water drop from test (3) would infiltrate the soil or evaporate. Tests (3), (4), and (5) proved the most useful of the six methods for measuring water repellency. Soil type had no significant influence on degree of water repellency as measured in the laboratory by these six tests.