HSI Services, Inc. has 20+ years of experience in water management

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.

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.

How to Prevent Flooding in Low-Lying Areas

How to Prevent Flooding in Low-Lying Areas

Water always flows downhill. Consequently, low-lying regions are far more likely to experience severe flooding than more elevated areas. While keeping floods from ever happening is completely impossible, we can and should take measures to minimize the amount of flooding that does occur and prevent extensive damages.

Flood prevention is an interesting science because it’s very difficult to truly prevent a flood from ever occurring. The best we can do is understand which areas are prone to flooding and why, as well as find methods to hold back huge amounts of water. Let’s take a look at how to prevent flooding in low-lying areas.

Regions with low elevation are highly flood-prone areas. Is it possible to prevent flooding and minimize damage? Find out here. #HSIServices #AquaBarrier Click To Tweet

Permanent Solutions

Where exactly are the floodwaters coming from? If a nearby river tends to overflow or a lower portion of land fills up quickly in heavy rain, try to give the water somewhere else to go. Drainage systems can divert floodwaters to other bodies of water or to pre-prepared spaces set aside for water retention. More ambitious projects could include constructing dams to control nearby rivers or building walls to prevent water from spreading too far.

Temporary Solutions

If a flood is on the way, there’s no time to construct a dam or dig drainage systems. For a quick method of flood protection, consider an inflatable cofferdam like the Aqua-Barrier. This balloon-like dam fills with water and creates an airtight seal along the ground to keep up to 5 feet of water at bay. Once the floodwaters drain, simply deflate the cofferdam and store it out of the way. This strategy will keep your property safe while you plan for a more permanent solution.

Pro Tip: In addition to flood prevention strategies, make sure you’re prepared for other potential issues. Double-check your flood insurance coverage and make sure important documents are stowed in waterproof containers.

Long-Term Planning

Structures and cofferdams will hold back floodwaters, but for a more sustainable solution, develop a long-term plan to reduce flood risk and minimize damage. Maybe a nearby riverbank is eroding away and allowing water to escape. In this case, focus on soil conservation and shoreline restoration. Improve your local flood warning system if you can and stay aware of how your climate and elevation can put you in an at-risk area.

Keeping Flood Damage to a Minimum

Regular floods are an unfortunate part of life for many parts of the world. Thankfully, there are solutions. Local communities should focus their efforts on developing methods to block the water and be ready to handle floods when they do occur.

Connect with us for more information on flood prevention and protection.

Installation Guide for Your Flood Barrier

Installation Guide for Your Flood Barrier

In the event of a severe storm, having a way to keep rising water levels from your property is necessary on all accounts. Our specially designed flood barrier, namely the Aqua-Barrier, is proven to keep flood-prone areas from suffering water damage. Discover the basics of our flood barrier installation methods with this overview.

Do you own an Aqua-Barrier? Make sure you understand the ins and outs of installing your barrier, no matter what scenario. Click To Tweet

How to Install the Aqua-Barrier

Designed to withstand high pressure and rising water levels, the Aqua-Barrier can be installed in a few different ways. While most applications take less than 24-hours from start to finish, the condition of your commercial property is a factor to consider. Is there water already flowing or not? Keep in mind what scenario you might find yourself in, and then plan accordingly.

  1. Moving Water
  2. Standing Water
  3. Dry Land

1) Moving Water

In a situation where water is flowing or rising, it’s important to have a way to maintain control of your barrier system. Otherwise, strong water currents can sweep your barrier downstream, causing damaging consequences. Use a piece of hydraulic equipment such as a track hoe or crane to properly place your barrier in the water. Once inflated, the track hoe or crane can be used as an anchor to keep your barrier steady.

2) Standing Water

During a flood event, it may be necessary to install a flood protection barrier at the perimeter of a body of water. In a lake or culvert where water is static, barriers can be installed without any shoreline anchor. Due to the buoyancy of the industrial-grade vinyl, your crew can simply unroll the water barrier at any location. Once the fill ports are opened to allow water in, your water barrier will stabilize in position.

Pro Tip: If you’re installing more than one barrier, maintain control by staggering the full inflation of each barrier until all are overlapped and unrolled.

3) Dry Land

For most commercial properties, installing an Aqua-Barrier will more than likely not involve water being present. However, iI’s important to install your barrier in advance to keep flood water from entering your building. On dry land, simply unroll your barrier and create a type of flood wall around your property. To inflate your barrier, attach a pump connected to a nearby water source into one of the fill ports.

Speak with Our Experts

Being prepared for any scenario is important, especially when flood control is concerned. Depending on your actual applications, how you choose to install your Aqua-Barrier can vary significantly. As a property owner, it’s important for you to know how to skillfully use your flood protection products to minimize flood damage.

For specific installation procedures tailored to your environment, connect with one of our trained HSI Services representatives.

How Do Flood Protection Barriers Work?

How Do Flood Protection Barriers Work?

If your property is in a flood plain, having adequate flood protection is essential. Of all of the options available to you, a flood protection barrier is a trusted choice across the United States. That being said, you may be questioning how the design actually protects against intruding water.

Having a flood barrier is one thing, but do you actually know how they work? Learn from our top flood protection experts! Click To Tweet

In the United States, there are a number of natural disasters that can cause flooding. From torrential downpours to tropical storms, a major storm can cause water levels to rise exponentially. Without the right kind of protection, the well-being of your property and its occupants could be at risk. One solution many business owners have found to protect against flooding is a barrier.

What is a Flood Protection Barrier?

A flood protection barrier is a specific type of floodgate that is designed to prevent water from entering a particular area. Also known as surge barriers or storm surge barriers, there are a number of different barrier materials used today. From glass to metal, flood barriers can be permanently installed along the edge of water banks to create a flood wall. For added protection, business owners can install temporary flood barriers to further protect a certain area.

Working Principle Behind Water Barriers

Water is a powerful force. One strong current can cause an area to erode and carry sediment miles away. For property owners, a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of property damage. In addition, contaminated water can cause a number of health problems including injuries and infectious diseases.

That being said, water barriers work to inhibit water flow by diverting it into another direction. Every flood defense system includes two important components: a barricade and a pump.

  • Barricade – Depending on the size of the area and flood potential, a flood barrier acts as a barricade towards rising water. In that way, it works to keep water from flowing to the other side.
  • Pump – Every flood barrier design varies, but to protect against flood damage, it’s important to control the flow of water. With a specially designed pump, water can be transferred to a nearby reservoir or drained in a less populated area.

Installing an Inflatable Flood Barrier

An invaluable resource for many property owners is an inflatable flood barrier. Unlike other temporary barriers on the market, an inflatable barrier offers flexibility with its vinyl coated polyester material. The Aqua-Barrier, in particular, is designed to be repaired and reused over and over again.

To install an inflatable barrier in anticipation of flooding, barriers are simply unrolled and inflated in a particular area. Once water levels start to rise, a minimum of 25% of the freeboard is required for stabilization. The patented internal baffle system locks into place when the barrier is exposed to a certain level of hydrostatic pressure. Essentially, the barrier will create a water gate between the barrier and incoming flood water.

Pro Tip: Before installation, survey your water barrier for water pressure leak or malfunctioning issues.

Are You Ready for a Flood Event?

Flooding can happen quickly and without warning. With a strong hurricane season predicted ahead, it’s important for you to have the tools you need to get ready. By creating a dam between storm surges or water drainage, flood protection barriers can help you ward off water currents.

Connect with our sales team for more flood control solutions to keep your property dry in the coming months.