Bentonite has significant applications nowadays, among them as landfill liners, in concrete industry as a repairing material, and as drilling mud in oil well construction. The application of an electric field to such perimeters is under wide discussion, and subject of many studies. However, to understand the behaviour of such an expansive and plastic material under the influence of an electric field, the perception of its electrical properties is essential. This work serves to compare existing data of such electrical behaviour with new laboratorial results. Electrical conductivity is a pertinent parameter since it indicates how much a material is prone to conduct electricity. In the current study, total conductivity of a compacted porous medium was established to be dependent upon density of the bentonite plug. Therefore, surface conductivity was addressed and a series-parallel transport model used to quantify/predict the total conductivity of the system. © The Author(s) 2010.