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Types of Dams and How They Work

Types of Dams and How They Work

Types of Dams and How They Work

There are several types of dams, and each gets constructed based on usage. In the latest report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), there are over 90,000 dams in the United States. However, these dams have different structures and designs.

With over 90,000 dams in the U.S. with different designs and structures, it’s important to know how each dam design works before applying them for flood control. Click To Tweet

What are the different types of dams and how do they work?

A dam is a physical structure built to hold back flowing water and raise its level to form a reservoir. The water can then be used to generate hydroelectric power and irrigation. However, the various types of dams consist of different construction materials. Here are the various types of dams you’ll find in the United States.

  1. Diversion Dam
  2. Buttress Dam
  3. Embankment Dam
  4. Cofferdam
  5. Storage Dam
  6. Detention Dam
  7. Gravity Dam

1) Diversion Dam

As the name suggests, diversion dams are built to change the direction of flowing water. The dams divert water into canals, ditches, and other channels. Unlike many types of dams, diversion dams are lower in heights with smaller water storage capacities.

2) Buttress Dam

Buttress dams consist of sloping watertight decks supported by intervals of buttresses on the downstream side. There are three forms of buttress dams, including the deck type, multiple arch type, and massive head type. However, the dam uses less concrete since the upstream part is a relatively thin flat slab. 

3) Embankment Dam

An embankment dam is constructed using industrial waste materials or excavated natural materials, like compacted earth materials. Based on the material used during construction, there are three main embankment dams: the earth dam, hydraulic fill dam, and the rockfill dam.

4) Cofferdam

Unlike other dams, a cofferdam is a portable dam used to hold water temporarily during shoreline restoration, bridge repair, pipeline installation, and other dewatering projects. You’ll use the cofferdam to close the construction area to maintain a dry work site. It’s more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional sandbags.

Pro Tip: The robust Aqua-Barrier® Inflatable Cofferdam is made from industrial-grade vinyl-coated polyester that is ideal for usage on all terrains and conditions. 

5) Storage Dam

As the name suggests, these dams are primarily constructed to store water during rainy seasons. These dams can also keep water for local wildlife, irrigation, and hydroelectric power generation. Storage dams are the most common types in the United States.

6) Detention Dam

A detention dam is specifically built to control flooding by catching surface runoffs and stream waters. It retains water in a reservoir to regulate the flow of water downstream, reducing flash floods. The stored water can then get released gradually.

7) Gravity Dam

A gravity dam is a massive, human-made concrete dam constructed to hold large volumes of water. It relies on the internal strength and weight for stability. So, builders have to use heavy concrete to resist the horizontal thrust of the water held back.

Choosing the Right Dam to Protect Your Business

There are various types of dams in the United States, with varying construction designs and uses. Thankfully, the barriers play significant roles in controlling floods and providing water for irrigation, hydroelectric power generation, fishing, bathing, and drinking.

Connect with us to learn more types of dams, including the masonry dam.

How Do Inflatable Cofferdams Help With Flood Control?

How Do Inflatable Cofferdams Help With Flood Control?

Both hurricanes and extreme rainstorms can present a number of problems for local communities. When weather authorities issue a flood warning, many business owners turn to sandbags or alternate flood control methods to prepare. But what if there was a better, more sustainable tool that was both eco-friendly and reliable? Learn how dams, specifically inflatable cofferdams, can help you adequately protect against flooding.

In theory, a dam is a quintessential way to divert water. Practically, though, how do inflatable dams work with flooding? Find out here. Click To Tweet

Did you know that flooding is the most frequent and severe weather threat facing the United States? From property damage to car accidents, flash flooding in moderate to low-risk areas accounts for nearly 25% of flood insurance claims. For those who live near the coast, the amount of property damage claims increases exponentially. As a business owner, having a flood control solution that is easy to use and inexpensive like an inflatable cofferdam will make the difference between your business being adequately prepared or not.

What Is An Inflatable Cofferdam?

While a dam is easily understood as a mechanism that stops water from flowing to a certain area, an inflatable cofferdam can be explained similarly. Like any cofferdam that is built within, or in pairs across a body of water, an inflatable cofferdam uses the water of the area to inflate its bladder tank. By taking in enough water to stabilize the internal baffle system, an inflatable water dam removes water from an area and creates a reliable barrier. Whether it’s to guard against heavy rains or increased river flow in certain areas, an inflatable cofferdam has become the top choice for guarding against flooding.

Advantages of an Inflatable Flood Barrier

Acting essentially like a flood barrier, an inflatable cofferdam can be used to protect a large property from devastating floods, a worksite from water erosion, or a roadway from having its sediment washed away. Compared to sandbags, inflatable flood barriers give business owners a number of benefits:

  • User-friendly – With as little as 2 people, installation of the Aqua-Barrier requires minimal man labor and heavy equipment, helping you save money and time.
  • Lightweight portability – When not in use, water inflated dams can be easily rolled and stored away in a small space such as a shed, making them easily accessible at all times of the year.
  • Highly versatile – Designed with industrial-grade vinyl, inflatable flood barriers are designed to withstand punctures from nearby bushes or plantlife, making them easy to maneuver and install in a number of locations.
  • Environmentally-safe – Unlike the many toxins left behind from sandbags, inflatable water dams don’t require special removal equipment and are 100% toxic-free.
  • Long term investment – Engineered to be reused repeatedly, water barriers are proven to be a reliable way to guard against flooding for years to come.

Pro Tip: Inflatable cofferdams come in a number of different sizes and can be paired together to fully protect the extent of your property that is susceptible to high water levels.

Choosing a Trusted Manufacturer

Due to the number of flood control methods on the market, it can be difficult to find the best tool for your specific application. In addition to reliability and overall performance, the customer service of a manufacturer is a feature that is often overlooked. HSI Services has a team of water management experts who have over 25 years of experience. Along with providing a lifetime warranty and customized solutions for individual properties, you can trust that your business will get the attention it deserves by partnering with our team.

Keeping Floods Under Control With Aqua-Barrier

Water is a powerful force if left unchecked. From property damage to water contamination, not having the best flood protection equipment can be detrimental for your business. With a number of sizes to choose from, the Aqua-Barrier is a proven solution for protecting against floods.

To receive a quote or more information regarding our flood protection solutions, get in touch with our team.

Successfully Using an Inflatable Cofferdam: 5 Essential Factors

Successfully Using an Inflatable Cofferdam: 5 Essential Factors

An inflatable cofferdam offers an efficient and effective way of controlling invasive water during floods. So, if you’re running a project that requires dewatering solutions, consider the inflatable cofferdam. We’ll show you how to use it. Keep reading to learn more!

Inflatable, portable cofferdams offer ease of flooding prevention in a number of work sites. Keep these essential factors in mind for successful coverage. #AquaBarrier Click To Tweet

What are the steps to using an inflatable cofferdam?

Inflatable cofferdams have several applications. In most cases, it provides access to underwater areas during construction and maintenance. You can also use it for hazardous liquid containment and sediment retention in a sensitive work area.

Here are the factors to consider when using a cofferdam for dewatering solutions.

  1. Understanding Water Levels 
  2. Obtaining Necessary Permits
  3. Hiring Experienced Contractors
  4. Removing Debris From The Site
  5. Determining the Type of Installation

1) Understanding the Water Levels

Water levels usually fluctuate from season to season. So, you need to review the timing of your project and plan accordingly. Consult the U.S. Geological Survey to figure out fluctuations in water level at the site and determine the best timing.

2) Obtaining Necessary Permits

Some of the essential permits you’ll need for a cofferdam project include contamination concerns, turbidity requirements, right-of-way restrictions, and time constraint permits. Thankfully, a project engineer can help you get the permits for dewatering solutions.

3) Hiring Experienced Contractors 

Working with a contractor who has experience in dewatering construction can help you save time and money. Such contractors know what to do when invasive water floods the work area. Typically, they will deploy a water-inflated flood barrier for flood protection.

Pro Tip: It’s worth knowing the product specifications and making sure you meet dam size requirements before implementing the inflatable cofferdam. 

4) Removing Debris From The Site

It’s imperative to remove all the surface debris that can puncture the water barrier’s plastic membrane. Ensure that the area you’ll install the flood barrier is free of sharp rocks, stumps, and rebar. If you don’t remove the debris, the following might happen:

  • Inability to keep the water barrier inflated if there’s a large puncture
  • Loss of inflation due to the small leaks in the barrier
  • Reduced stability of the flood barrier

5) Determining the Type of Installation

There are three basic water barrier installation types, including dry surface installations, static-water installations, and dynamic water installations.

  • Dry Surface Installation: The barriers get deployed in areas with no water in anticipation of flooding. You’ll simply roll the barriers and inflate them.
  • Static-Water Installation: The barriers get installed in areas with non-moving water. The barriers float on the water’s surface during installation.
  • Dynamic Water Installation: Water barriers get positioned on moving water by controlling the units’ ends using hydraulic equipment.

The Correct Way to Use an Inflatable Cofferdam

An inflatable cofferdam is an excellent alternative to a sheet pile. The inflatable dams are environment-friendly, cost-effective, and highly-efficient in controlling floodwaters. All you should do is consider the five factors discussed when considering a cofferdam.

Contact us to learn more about effective dewatering solutions in your project.

Shoreline Restoration with an Aqua-Barrier

Shoreline Restoration with an Aqua-Barrier

Shoreline restoration plays a significant role in maintaining an ecological balance of the natural environment. Whether engineered or constructed by nature, a shoreline can still experience erosions. And if that happens, it must get restored to avoid further damage.

How can we prevent shoreline erosions? With the Aqua Barrier®, shoreline restoration can be achieved and provide a number of benefits. Click To Tweet

Restoring the shoreline comes with several benefits, such as controlling erosion and trapping sediments from land run-offs. Thankfully, Aqua Barrier® has made shoreline restoration easy, helping people save on time and money. Keep reading to learn more about shoreline restoration.

Erosion Caused by Construction

Construction of structures such as bridges, buildings, and roads has resulted in extensive soil erosion. That can cause flooding, which could destroy native plants, aquatic vegetation, and property around rivers, lakes, and oceans. Also, it could increase the number of sediment deposits in water bodies.

Here are some of the tips that can help to reduce construction erosion.

  • Identify the construction site areas with loose soils that can get eroded easily
  • Determine the extent of erosion by observing the site when it’s raining
  • Cover the loose soils using nets, tarps, or any other material that can hold soil
  • Install Aqua Barrier® water inflated dams around the construction site

Why Shoreline Restoration is Critical

Restoring the shoreline helps to return its margin from an artificial or degraded condition to its natural state. Thankfully, it comes with numerous benefits, including the following:

  • Prevents sediments from getting into the water, reducing the number of nutrients that can cause massive growth of plants and algae in the water
  • Maintains ecological balance of the water bodies while playing a vital role in preserving the shoreline’s beauty and coastal resiliency
  • Act as a vital buffer zone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. If well-planted, the armored shoreline can prevent pollutants from flowing into the lake system.

Using an Aqua-Barrier in Shoreline Restoration Projects

Aqua Barrier® can withstand high pressure from the rising water levels, making it the best solution for shoreline restoration. It offers an efficient and cost-effective way to dewater the worksite during restoration. When rebuilding the shoreline, Aqua Barrier® will temporarily keep water away from the shoreline for quick and easy restoration.

Pro Tip: A wide range of rental equipment accessories can further improve water quality and prevent flooding on construction sites. 

Repairing the Environment

Shoreline restoration is easy when you have the right tools like Aqua Barrier®. Many engineers have used the equipment to restore shorelines, making it a reliable tool to rebuild the water bodies’ environment. Thankfully, Aqua Barrier® is reusable and safe for the environment. Save time and money in your next project using Aqua Barrier®.

Connect with us and learn how to install the Aqua Barrier® during shoreline restoration.

Hurricane Season 2020: How to Weather the Storm

Hurricane Season 2020: How to Weather the Storm

We all know how devastating a hurricane storm can be, especially during the peak of hurricane season 2020. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts 19 to 25 named storms and 7-11 hurricanes. Also, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season might be worse due to a La Nina expected to develop a few months ahead.

With hurricane season upon us in 2020, it’s crucial to know how to prepare for an impending storm. Does your business property have an appropriate plan in mind for a Houston storm surge? Click To Tweet

So, you need to start thinking of hurricane preparedness to protect your family and property when a storm is forming. Otherwise, you may not reverse all the damages caused when the hurricane or tropical storm hits hard. Thankfully, we’ll look at what you should do to prepare adequately for the hurricane season 2020. Let’s get started!

Construction Site Preparedness

The best way to protect a construction site from the devastating impacts of hurricanes is by creating a hurricane preparedness plan. Once a climate prediction center has named an impending hurricane, figure out what to do before, during, and after the hurricane activity.

Here are some ways to prepare a construction site for the hurricane season 2020.

  • Keep the site clean and well-maintained for quick emergency procedures
  • Deploy a water inflated property protector around the site to prevent flooding
  • Secure or move potential projectiles indoors, including the scaffolding

Pro Tip: You should always monitor the weather once the National Hurricane Center has mentioned an impending hurricane storm in your area.

School Safety Preparedness

Most schools use flood insurance policies to cover damage costs caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. However, there are measures you can take to prevent or mitigate the damages.

Here are some of the ways to prepare your school for the hurricane season 2020.

  • Devise an effective communication plan to inform everyone of potential floods
  • Create a flood emergency plan to promote the safety of everyone in the school
  • Install an inflatable flood barrier around school buildings to prevent flooding
  • Move computers and other expensive electronics to higher levels

Business Property Preparedness

If you’ve set up a business in a hurricane-prone area, you need to protect it from the storm’s impacts, such as flooding. Otherwise, your property might get damaged.

Here are the ways to prepare your business property for the hurricane season 2020.

  • Move treasured or expensive items such as furniture to higher levels
  • Invest in a water inflated property protector to protect your property from floods
  • Communicate a hurricane emergency plan with all your employees
  • Clear gutters and drainage systems to carry away water from your property

Are You Ready for the Next Storm?

An effective hurricane preparedness plan can help prevent or mitigate the storms’ destructive impacts during the hurricane season 2020. Major hurricanes such as Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Katrina can be catastrophic and require you to take advanced safety measures. Just follow all the tips we’ve discussed to protect your family and property.

Contact us for flooding solutions, including the Aqua-Barrier® Flood Protection.