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Vertical Wick Drain

Vertical Wick Drains are the most economical ground improvement solution for soft soils with a high clay/silt content. CeTeau manufactures and installs Prefabricated Vertical Drains (PVD) to accelerate the settlement of soft soils. In combination with surcharge or vacuum pressure, the time required to reach the settlement is reduced from years to only months.

"Consolidation you can build on."

Vertical drains are mostly used to shorten the settlement period of soft, water saturated soils. This can thus reduce the construction period of a project and avoid post-construction differential settlements. By applying a temporary preload on top of the embankment or fill, the consolidation period can be reduced even more.

One Stop Solution

CeTeau provides a wide range of solutions for any project around the world. Together with the customer the most suitable approach is selected for the most challenging projects.

  • Supply of PVD.
  • Supply and installation of PVD.
  • Supply or rental of PVD installation equipment.
  • Specialist PVD equipment for installation in hard soils or with height restrictions.

Wick Drains, also called Prefabricated Vertical Drains (PVD), Band Drains or Strip Drains are strips consisting of non-woven filter wrapped around a a polypropylene core. The core is extruded into a shape that transmits a maximum water flow on both sides of the core. The filter is ultrasonically welded together at the edges and will prevent the core from blocking with soil particles.

Ground improvement using PVD is applied in areas with soft water saturated soils such as peat, clay and silty clays. In these soils significant settlements may occur over time because of water draining out of the soil. In addition, increased pore pressure in soils may cause instability of the soil due to liquefaction.

The installation of PVD will drain out the water fast to reduce settlements and will reduce the pore pressure to prevent liquefaction. The PVDs are installed vertically into the soft soil. This way drainage paths with high permeability are created in the soil. The distance the water must travel is thereby drastically reduced. Therefore, it only takes weeks or months instead of years for the water to escape. The soil will settle fast and will be capable to support the new loads.



  • Roads, railways, dikes and airports.
  • Land reclamation.
  • Harbor construction.
  • Urban and industrial sites.
  • Stabilization of slopes.
  • Degassing of landfills.

Free Vertical Drain Calculator

Easily calculate the total length of Wick Drain required


  • Increases the strength of the soil.
  • Minimizes the long term residual settlement.
  • Limits differential settlements.
  • Can improve soils up to 50 m depth.
  • Relatively low cost.


  • The consolidation process still takes considerable time (6-12 months).
  • Loading by surcharge or vacuum is required.


  • Low overhead installation.
  • Automatic installation.
  • GPS positioning.
  • Jumbo roll 2.500 m wick drain rolls.
  • Off-shore installation.

In-house Manufacturing

The CeTeau-Drain is manufactured in the Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia, all majority owned by the CeTeau holding. Having our factories on three different continents gives us the unique possibility to support our customers worldwide. 

With a total production capacity exceeding 150.000.000 meters we are one of the largest vertical drain manufacturers. 

We manufacture our drains using only high-grade polypropylene, which does not contain any additional chemicals that can pollute the soil. The filter jacket is made from specially selected nonwoven materials that ensure high tensile strength in combination with a low elongation, so that deformation of the drain at high lateral pressure is kept to a minimum. The filter is available in a wide weight range and can be adapted to the local soil structure. CeTeau-Drain is produced under a strict quality control process using the latest technologies. Please provide us your requirements and we will manufacture a drain exceeding your expectations.

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