Do you have a construction project that requires a dry worksite? You may have used traditional cofferdam types in the past, but they likely failed in providing quick installation and tear down. It probably also required too many workers while costing more than expected. But, this doesn’t have to be your reality. There’s a better cofferdam solution that outperforms traditional methods in almost every category — an inflatable, water-filled cofferdam.
What are traditional cofferdam types and are there better alternatives? Let’s dive into a little cofferdam history and see how your dewatering project can benefit from a more modern take to achieving a dry worksite.
Traditional Cofferdam Types
Cofferdams have been around for decades, but in the modern era, they are typically used for construction site dewatering.
A traditional cofferdam type is a temporary structure usually made of sheet metal, concrete, wood, and in some cases, are double-walled with a filler. They withstand high amounts of pressure in order to keep a particular area dry but the installation and manpower required to assemble and dismantle these devices are often times not worth the labor costs and time.
Pro Tip: Injuries are more likely to occur when using a traditional cofferdam type because of the heavy machinery required to move materials around.
Inflatable, Water-Filled Cofferdams
Have you heard of an inflatable cofferdam or bladder dam? If not, after reading this, you will probably completely change your outlook about cofferdams.
An inflatable cofferdam like the Aqua-Barrier® is a water-filled device that is also reusable. It prevents water from entering a work site and requires minimal equipment and labor. The Aqua-Barrier® installation and in-field use are faster for both moving and standing water installation procedures. Because there is no heavy machinery required, your team will experience fewer injuries and therefore, fewer workers’ compensation claims.
If you want to lessen your company’s environmental impact while saving money and valuable time, an inflatable cofferdam is your answer!
Wondering if an inflatable cofferdam is right for your construction project? Here are some common Aqua-Barrier® construction applications:
Discover The Aqua-Barrier® Difference
Available in custom sizes to fit your particular project needs, an inflatable cofferdam like the Aqua-Barrier® is a much more viable alternative to dewatering when compared to traditional approaches.
Have a question about inflatable bladder dam uses and features? Join the conversation here.
Cofferdams, barriers to hold water back from a dewatered construction site, are a critical part of many construction projects. Traditional cofferdams made of wood and steel have dominated this part of the construction industry for years. The introduction of inflatable cofferdams, which can be filled with water conveniently available at these construction sites, presents a challenge to the traditional approach. While both have their pros and cons, inflatable cofferdams seem to be a better idea than steel.
Why are Inflatable Cofferdams Better?
Inflatable cofferdams offer several advantages over their traditional steel counterparts. A construction company interested in saving time and landing more jobs should invest in inflatable cofferdams to help their business. Several key advantages of inflatable barriers include:
- Faster installation
- Doesn’t Disturb the Eco-System
- Easy to combine
1) Faster Installation
Did you know that up to 100 linear feet of a water-filled cofferdam could be installed in roughly 2-3 hours? Not only does this mean the job as a whole requires less time, but it also gives your company an advantage over other bidders for the job. If you can set up and complete the job faster than your competitors, you are far more likely to win the work contract.
2) Doesn’t Disturb the Eco-System
Inflatable cofferdams are environmentally friendly compared to other dewatering methods. The flexible material that the Aqua-Barrier® is made from can conform to irregular surfaces and various elevations. Furthermore, many dewatering solutions such as sheet pile cause turbidity which disturbs the natural environment; while Aqua-Barriers® do not. The water filled bladder dams can be temporarily used to store water for your construction site without bringing any foreign materials to your worksite. This is essential for protecting the plants and animals in the underwater eco-system.
Pro Tip: Inflatable cofferdams are made of a highly durable and flexible material, which makes them far more sturdy and reliable than their rigid steel counterparts.
3) Easy to Combine
Steel cofferdams can make expanding or reshaping your workspace difficult. Your crew has to dig up any concrete foundation and haul heavy building materials around. Worse, they have to dedicate valuable work time to bringing in more materials to expand the wall. Inflatable cofferdams make this process much easier. Because of their lighter material, inflatable barriers are easily moved or laid end-to-end in a short amount of time. The new or relocated dams can then be refilled as you dewater the work area again. The whole process can be completed in less time.
Choosing the Best Construction Supplies
When you shop for construction site materials, your biggest concerns are likely cost, efficiency, environmental protection, and safety. A high-quality inflatable cofferdam can easily provide you the best value in all of those categories. Choose a model that works best for your projects.
Want to learn more about your choices in the cofferdam market? Connect with other construction professionals and see what their favorites are.
If you own a contracting company or work in the construction field, you are well aware that many projects are in or around shorelines. Carrying out the project can damage or disrupt the shoreline, causing erosion and the possible destruction of our precious shorelines.
What Projects Require the Use of Shoreline Restoration Techniques?
Employing shoreline restoration techniques can be beneficial in a number of construction fields and projects. It is important to consider shoreline restoration when dealing with many dewatering projects, such as pipeline construction, bridge and dam projects, and for sediment control. Here are five times that shoreline restoration needs to be taken into consideration:
- Shoreline Erosion and Stabilization
- Sediment Control
- Bridge and Dam Projects
- Pipeline Construction
- Ecosystem Restoration
1) Shoreline Erosion and Stabilization
Erosion occurs by the removal of coastal land that has been supplanted by water. It can be caused by storms, high winds, improper irrigation, and construction projects that disrupt the shoreline.
2) Sediment Control
It is important that developers and builders take into consideration sediment to help prevent erosion. When the soil and shorelines are disturbed, it can lead to a loss of habitat, blocked stormwater drains, public health issues, and an increased risk of flooding.
3) Bridge and Dam Projects
Because bridge and dam construction or repair projects require dewatering and are located along shorelines, they are an important time to use shoreline restoration techniques and practices.
4) Pipeline Construction
Many times, pipeline construction projects and inspections are performed in the water, and therefore the shoreline needs to be taken into consideration.
5) Ecosystem Restoration
When it comes to keeping shorelines healthy and the ecosystem thriving, it is imperative that control measures are installed before excavation or site disturbance occurs. Construction projects and natural weather disturbances can cause harm to the shoreline. When it comes time to performing restoration techniques, be sure you are using the best tools for the job.
ProTip: The Aqua-Barrier® Inflatable Cofferdam allows you to create a temporary dam in order to get a dry workspace to begin a shoreline stabilization project–without having to worry about flooding surrounding areas.
Shoreline Restoration and the Aqua Barrier® Water Inflated Dam
It is the job of the builder or developer to consider shoreline restoration and take reasonable care to prevent material (soil, sand, litter) from leaving construction sites. This can be achieved by using proper dewatering technique and using the best tools available, like the Aqua Barrier® Water Inflated Dam. Traditional sandbags can actually cause more damage to the shoreline, so using a cofferdam is the best option for any shoreline restoration project.
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Whether you are doing bridge repair, sediment control, concrete repairs or many other construction and pipeline projects, a dry workspace is a must. Instead of using time-consuming earthen dams or sandbags, there are numerous benefits to using a water inflated cofferdam.
Why Choose a Water Inflated Dam?
The Aqua-Barrier Cofferdam was introduced on the market in 1996 and its advantages are being seen across the country. Water filled cofferdams have become a popular choice in many industries due to the many benefits associated with this type of solution. Here are five key advantages of using a water inflated dam:
- Quick and Easy to Use
- Environmentally Friendly
- Fills With Water from Your Site
- No Post-Construction Site Restoration
- Saves Money and Time
1) Quick and Easy to Use
The Aqua-Barrier® can be installed in two easy and basic ways depending on if the water is moving or still. The inner baffle is filled with water, inflating the dam in minutes, creating a safe barrier around your workplace or construction site.
2) Environmentally Friendly
An inflatable dam is environmentally-friendly compared to other traditional dewatering and flood prevention methods. It is reusable and can easily be stored when not in use. Most dams install in just 1-2 hours and are also quick to put away.
3) Fills With Water From Your Site
There is no need to haul in fill to make your Aqua-Barrier® work! The Aqua-Barrier uses water to inflate, so you can use the water on the site and never have to worry about bringing it from elsewhere.
4) No Post-Construction Site Restoration
When using sandbags and other materials to dam up a worksite, you run the risk of needing to perform site restoration at the end of the project. When you use an inflatable bladder dam to dewater your construction site, you simply drain the water back where you got it from and pack up in a day or two. Because of this, minimal manpower required, cutting down on prep and cleanup time, allowing contractors to finish on time or early.
5) Saves Money and Time
You might think that it would cost a bundle to use an Aqua-Barrier®, but it actually saves money! Prior to inflatable dams, most people opted for sand-bags. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the cost of using sandbags averages around $5.00 per sandbag and most use approximately 34 sandbags per foot. This cost adds up with the cost of materials along with the time and manpower used, too.
Advantages of Water Inflated Cofferdams
ProTip: Not only does a water inflated dam save time and money, but it is also more environmentally friendly compared to other dewatering methods.
A water inflated cofferdam is the most effective tool for creating a dry worksite. With it being so affordable and easy to install, it is the optimal choice when looking for dewatering solutions.
Contact us to learn more advantages of using water inflated dams in your next construction project.
Over 3 million miles of rivers and streams in the United States, and many of these flow into the estimated 84,000 dams around the country. But did you know that not all dams are created equal? They aren’t. In fact, there are many different kinds of dams, and they each have their own uses.
Various Kinds of Dams
A dam is a barrier that restricts or stops the flow of water, helps suppress floods, as well as providing irrigation, industrial, and aquaculture uses. Here are seven of the different kinds of dams used across America and what they are used for.
- Diversion Dam
- Buttress Dam
- Embankment Dam
- Storage Dam
- Detention Dam
- Gravity Dam
1) Diversion Dam
Like the name says, a diversion dam is used to divert water. They provide pressure to push water into ditches, canals, or other areas used for conveyance. Diversion dams are typically lower in height and have a small water storage area in it’s upstream.
2) Buttress Dam
Buttress dams can take many forms, but they all consist of a sloping deck supported by intervals of buttresses. There are three main buttress dams, including: multiple arch type, massive head type, and deck type. Buttress dams usually use less concrete than other dams but are not necessarily cheaper.
3) Embankment Dam
An embankment dam is a large, artificial dam that is constructed with natural excavated materials or industrial waste materials, such as compacted plastics, and various compositions of soil, sand, rock, and clay.
A cofferdam is a temporary, portable dam used for a variety of projects including bridge repair, shoreline restoration, pipeline installation, and many other construction projects. A cofferdam is used to close off some or all of a construction area. Aqua-Barrier® Inflatable Cofferdams are made from high-grade industrial vinyl coated polyester and can be used on all terrain and in any conditions. They are reusable and compact for transportation.
5) Storage Dam
These dams are not mean to divert or keep water out, but to keep water in. Storage dams are constructed to store water during the rainy seasons, supply water to the local wildlife, and store water for hydroelectric power generation, and irrigation. Storage dams are the most common types of dams.
6) Detention Dam
Detention dams are specifically constructed for flood control by retarding flow downstream, helping reduce flash floods (to some extent). The water is retained in a reservoir to be later gradually released.
7) Gravity Dam
A gravity dam is a massive, man-made concrete dam designed to hold large volumes of water. Because of the heavy concrete used, it is able to resist the horizontal thrust of the water, and gravity essentially holds the dam to the ground. They are used to block rivers in wide valleys and must be built on a strong foundation of bedrock.
Different Kinds of Dams
ProTip: There are many different kinds of dams and each has their different uses. If you are looking for a temporary dam to create a dry work site for your next construction project, a cofferdam is your best option.
There are many different kinds of dams, and they are all an important part of our country, providing for domestic, industry, and irrigation uses, including water for drinking, bathing, hydroelectric power generation, water storage, flood protection, and more.
Contact us to learn more about the different kinds of dams and their uses.
Cofferdams are used in many industries when dewatering and water diversion are necessary. You might not realize it, but the history of cofferdams is long and fascinating and dates back thousands of years. During this time the cofferdam has evolved and improved several times.
The Evolution of the Cofferdam
Cofferdams have been around for centuries, but they haven’t all looked or worked the same. The history of cofferdams is interesting and takes us back to the Persian empire. Here is the timeline of cofferdams used throughout history and how they have advanced through the years.
- Earthen Cofferdam
- Roman Cofferdam
- Steel Sheet Pile Cofferdam
- Aqua-Barrier® Inflatable Cofferdam
1) Earthen Cofferdams
The first cofferdams were said to be used by King Cyrus of Persia in 539 B.C. to temporarily divert water from the Euphrates river, allowing the capture of Babylon. This capture of Babylon ended their rule, allowing the Medo-Persian empire to begin.
2) Roman Cofferdams
The Romans had their own cofferdam, as well, and it was made from wood pilings that they temporarily used in order to build bridges across the Danube river in 102 A. D. in what is now Romania.
In the 1880’s, during the Napoleonic wars, people used sandbags to control water. Initially, these bags of sand were used for the protection of the troops during battle, but eventually, they were used as temporary dams and water control.
4) Steel Sheet Pile Cofferdams
After a hundred years of using sandbags, a milestone in cofferdams was introduced through the steel sheet pile cofferdam. In the early 1900’s, a German engineer came up with an interlocking design of ‘U’ shaped steel to help control water. This interlocking steel cofferdam design is still being used today in some countries.
5) Aqua-Barrier® Inflatable Cofferdams
Fast forward to 1996 and the invention of the Aqua-Barrier® cofferdam. This inflatable cofferdam features a patented internal baffle system that not only provides stability but the ability to use on any terrain, too. The Aqua-Barrier® is vastly more effective and efficient than outdate sandbags, and is also more environmentally friendly, too.
Modern Uses and the Cofferdam
The modern Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Cofferdam is the essential tool for a variety of dewatering projects, such as building and repairing boat ramps, pipeline construction projects, water park maintenance, shoreline restoration, flood protection, and more.
Contact us to learn more about the fascinating history of cofferdams.