Erosion is one of the top issues facing the construction industry today. The Department of Agriculture estimates one billion tons of topsoil are lost each year due to erosion. This issue not only causes topsoil to be displaced, but it also is the culprit for clogging waterways and damaging adjacent properties.
Erosion can be caused by many variables and each situation will most likely have a different solution. Here are seven ways to help prevent erosion on your next construction project.
1) Observe the Site
When starting a new project, it is imperative to observe the site’s slopes for any potential problems. Also, take a look at any adjacent sites to see how your project will affect that area, as well. It is ideal if you can observe the site while it is raining in order to plan accordingly.
2) Divert or Slow the Water
Water and wind are the main offenders when it comes to erosion. Before beginning construction, come up with a plan to divert or slow the movement of water. Controlling runoff waters effectively will reduce erosions and sediment issues on your construction site.
3) Don’t Disturb
Disturb the area as little as possible. Only excavate a small section at a time to reduce the risk of remediation. Even though it may take a little more time, the potential costs of erosion could end up costing you more in the long run.
4) Ground Covers
As soon as excavation is complete, it is essential to create a ground cover to help minimize erosion. The faster you can get your ground cover growing, the less erosion is possible. Check with the landscaper to see about any specified seed species to use. If seeding is not an option, plastic sheeting is helpful in shielding the soil from rain and wind. Plastic sheeting is only effective in small areas, however, and can do more damage if used in large areas.
5) Mobile Grinders & Chippers
If you are removing trees from the construction site, bring a mobile grinder or chipper to make mulch. This ground-up material works wonders as an erosion aide. This material can also be used for temporary roads and ground cover. You can use this mulch for slope stabilization or save it to blend with the soil for landscaping towards the end of the project.
6) Sediment Control
Sediment is the soil which is dislodged by water flow. Once the sediment is in fluid motion, it becomes difficult to collect and further exasperates erosion. Silt fencing, filter socks, and straw wattles are all commonly used to catch and control sediment. These control methods are not designed to handle high water pressure, so do not install them across waterways, ditches, or other areas of concentrated water flow.
7) Inflatable Dams
More and more contractors are turning to inflatable water dams for dewatering needs and erosion control. They are cost effective and cheaper than traditional methods of sandbags and earthen dams. They are easy to install in both moving and still water and conforms to the boundary of any site, providing a seal that prevents the passage of water on your worksite.
In fact, federal regulations and other applicable laws require you to have an erosion control plan to prevent soil and water from affecting other areas and bodies of water.
To learn more about how you can prevent erosion on your construction site, Contact Us.
When preparing for a construction project, the idea of dewatering can be daunting. This is especially true if you’re on a strict deadline. Much of this dread is born from outdated dewatering methods, which proved costly and arduous.
Construction sites that lie underwater pose unique challenges and requirements. Not as cut and dry and most projects, the need for dewatering makes underwater construction especially unusual. This means that when approaching such project it’s always a good idea to assess safety regulations, timeline expectations, and dewatering options.
1) Dam Repair
The safety and viability of dams are a major priority for city and state engineers. Dams store water in case of fluctuations in demand, but they also impede floodwaters from rising. This stored water is then either released to the river below the dam or diverted for other uses. Vulnerabilities in a dam should be immediately repaired to avoid catastrophic damage. In order to get to the damaged material, temporary dewatering is necessary.
2) Boat Ramp Construction
A boat ramp is usually constructed of a concrete ramp poured over a steel frame. They provide an easy and safe way for vehicles to back boats into the water. Most boat ramps go well under the water line to account for low tides. To build a boat ramp, the area must be dewatered for digging and construction. Once completed, the water is released and the boat ramp can provide access to the water.
Oil and gas pipelines require regular inspections. Make them quicker and easier with an Aqua-Barrier® Cofferdam. These are capable of controlling surface water up to 6 ft. deep and can be used in a variety of environments. During these inspections, pipelines that show damage or corrosion are flagged for repair. Such damage is an extreme concern for oil and gas operators. Repairs must be made safely but speedily, to avoid the risk of contamination or danger. With the right dewatering solution, inspections and repairs are manageable and safe.
Know Your Options
In the past, dewatering was a long and arduous process that usually involved sandbags, heavy earth or stones piled high to keep the water at bay. Not only was the process time-consuming, but posed some serious safety concerns. With new technology, dewatering is easier and safe than ever. Embracing new, eco-friendly solutions like the Aqua-Barrier® Cofferdam can save you and your crew time and money.
Safe Dewatering for a Successful Project
The success of your project is based on how safe the process was, how quickly it was completed and how efficiently your materials were used.
To find out how to ensure the success and safety of your underwater construction project, Contact Us.
A wintery day with snow on the ground is a truly beautiful sight to behold. Despite this, it’s important to remember that the breathtaking beauty hides very real dangers. Each year as temperatures drop, Americans risk injury and death due to exposure to cold, car accidents, and CO poisoning caused by the improper use of heaters. Even when Sping begins to approach, the threat of flooding can linger.
It’s important to prepare yourself and your home in advance of adverse winter weather conditions. Weather stripping windows and doors, making sure your vehicle is winterized and having an emergency plan ready are just a few ways to prepare. There is a lot to think about when preparing for the cold season, so it’s crucial that you understand the dangers of winter weather:
1) Low Temperatures
Low temperatures put you at higher risk of hypothermia. When hypothermia sets in, your body jumps into action to protect your vital organs. Blood rushes to the core to keep your heart and lungs warm. However, that lack of circulation and blood in your extremities can causes them to freeze. In cases where the body temperature drops below 96, hypothermia sets in. Symptoms include confusion, exhaustion and slurred speech.
2) Decreased Visibility
During snow storms and heavy snowfall, visibility might be restricted. This can happen suddenly and without time to reach your destination, which is why it’s critical to heed weather warnings. Avoid driving, and stay close to home when the threat of winter storm warnings loom. In poor weather conditions with low visibility, it’s easy to get stuck or turned around. This is made even more dangerous by dropping temperatures, which can form dangerous black ice on the roads
3) Carbon Monoxide Risks
During the winter months, people are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible gas produced when fuels are not completely burned during use. Automobile exhaust is the most common source of CO, but generators, gas ranges and furnaces also produce it. When appliances and furnaces are improperly adjusted and used in poorly ventilated areas, dangerous amounts of CO can build up. This is especially true if heavy snowfall has covered up air vents in your home. Invest in a CO detector, and be sure to use gas-powered devices only as directed.
As the weather begins to warm, you might think that the worst is over. However, the last risk of winter weather is snowmelt flooding. If there is packed snow and ice on the ground, warmer temperatures may translate to a lot of runoff, which can increase the risk of flooding. Areas near creeks, lakes, or mountain bases are in more danger than other areas. In the event of snowmelt flooding, the use of an Aqua-Barrier Cofferdam will be needed to dewater and make necessary repairs.
Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Winter Weather
Between the snowfall, temperature hazards and possibility of snowmelt flooding, winter packs a lot of dangers. It’s important to plan ahead, stay calm, and stick to your emergency plan. Once the immediate danger has passed you can start assessing damages for repair.
To learn more about options for flood prevention and dewatering, Contact Us.
Worker safety is critical to running a successful construction operation. Beyond regulatory compliance, your workers are a critical component of each project completion. Their skills, morale, and well-being play a major role in the quality and efficiency of your final product.
Construction Safety – The Basics
While safety in construction covers a range of topics, there are a few essential areas to consider. Your baseline for employee and worker safety is the regulations and safety guidelines lined out by OSHA and all other regulatory agencies. This is a minimum, however, and does not guarantee maximum safety for your workers. To achieve maximum safety, it will take a little more research and preparation. Get started with the following quick guide:
1) Tool Maintenance
Incidents with tools are a common source of worker injuries. Worn and broken tools eventually fail, causing serious and sometimes fatal injury. Implement and maintain a tool maintenance schedule which includes regular inspections. That way, you will find problematic tools as early on as possible. Repair or replace all worn and broken tools immediately.
2) Heavy Equipment
Getting on and off heavy equipment is another common source of worker injury. Make sure your workers are wearing proper footwear and gloves with high grip when using heavy equipment. Train them to check their boots and gloves before climbing and to clean off the mud. Look for the largest size holds for both hands and feet. If needed, use a step ladder. Don’t carry anything while climbing.
3) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Make sure all your workers have and use all appropriate personal protective equipment. Back braces for lifting heavy objects, protective eyewear, gloves, appropriate footwear, and safety harnesses are all essential to keep on hand for each worker according to the jobs and tasks they perform.
4) Safe Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading heavy equipment and other items is another common cause of serious worker injury. Injuries from equipment rolling over and improper lifting techniques occur frequently. Use straight ramps cleared off all objects and debris. Always leave sufficient space between the equipment and all workers in case of emergency. Train your workers in proper loading and unloading procedures to lessen the chance for serious injury.
5) Construction in Water
Construction in water presents many opportunities for danger and injury. Ensure all your workers are equipped with proper tools, safety gear, and hazard training. Consider using an inflatable bladder dam as your dewatering solution to maximize safety and efficiency.
Construction safety is essential for numerous reasons. At the end of the day, you are required by law to meet all regulatory safety requirements. Beyond that, however, when your workers feel safe, morale is higher, productivity is increased, and overall output is generally of higher quality. Safety must remain priority #1 Give your workers the best chance of success by providing, the safest, most productive environment possible.
To learn more about the use of inflatable bladder dams to increase worker safety and productivity, Contact Us.
Despite US dominance as a developed powerhouse, the country experiences some of the worst natural disasters in the world. Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes occur regularly all over the nation. Advanced weather forecasting and satellite tracking offer warning, and evacuation orders help save lives. Prevention is crucial to avoid greater tragedy.
Common Traits of the Worst Floods
The worst floods in US history occurred over more than a century in different parts of the country. Still, there are commonalities in the destruction. Few of the floods were expected, and most regions lacked an adequate warning system for residents. In several cases, problems with dam stability was noted and ignored. Here are the top 10 worst flood events in US history:
On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania collapsed, leading to devastating flooding. The region had previously experienced heavy rains, which clogged the dam spillways. There was more than $453 million in property damage, and an estimated 2209 people perished.
2) St. Francis Dam Failure
The St. Francis Dam was opened in 1926 after two years of construction. Not long after construction was complete, cracks began to form on the surface of the dam. It collapsed on March 12th, 1928, killing 431.
3) Ohio River Flood
The 1937 flood of the Ohio River, left an estimated 350 people dead and nearly 1 Million homeless. Rains and flooding persisted for a solid month, from January 5-February 5.
4) Great Dayton Flood
The greatest natural disaster in Ohio’s history was the Great Dayton Flood, which killed 360 people,displaced 65,000 and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses.
5) Great Mississippi Flood
The Great Flood of 1927, flooded the lower Mississippi River valley in April 1927. It was one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. More than 23,000 square miles of land was submerged, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, and around 250 people died.The flooding impacted areas in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
6) Black Hills
On June 9, 1972, heavy thunderstorms caused flash flooding throughout Rapid City and the eastern foothills of the Black Hills, North Dakota. The flood destroyed homes, vehicles, businesses, bridges, and claimed the lives of 238 people.
7) Los Angeles
The Los Angeles disaster killed 144 people and left the area with repairs lasting for years. This flood prompted the country to the plans to protect the region from the unpredictable nature of the Los Angeles River.
8) Columbus, Ohio
This flood in 1913 occurred between March 23 and March 26, after major rivers in the central and eastern United States flooded, killing 90. This flood prompted federal and local government officials to change the management of waterways and develop flood prevention measures.
9) Laurel Run Dam Failure
As early as 1943, the spillway at the Laurel Run Dam was identified as inadequate to handle a large storm. It was advised that it be upgraded. Another dam assessment in 1959 noted that the spillway wasn’t large enough. Despite these findings, no action was taken to increase the spillway capacity at the dam. In 1970, the dam was classified as a hazard risk, yet again, no action was taken. On July 20, 1977 during a torrential storm, the dam failed, killing 40.
10) Austin Dam Failure
On September 30, 1911, the Austin dam failed and destroyed much of the town of Austin. The property damage was around $10 million. It resulted in the deaths of 78 people.
Lessons Learned From the Past
The value of these disasters are the lessons learned from them. They prompted major reform in infrastructure, warning systems and accountability. Federal funding increased for public works, and disaster relief funds were established. With increased warning systems, people are better able to protect their property and themselves. With tools such as the Water Inflated Property Protector, there are more resources to combat flood damage.
For more information about how to protect your home or business in the event of a flood, Contact Us.