Understanding the history of cofferdams directly relates to how dewatering solutions are used today. From bridges to canals, the introduction of cofferdams in construction provided a solution for building structures near large depths of water. With the varied uses of cofferdams, we now have the ability to create dry worksites quickly and efficiently for any construction project.
If you’re building or handling equipment near a body of water, it’s crucial for you to control the flow and location of the water. Without a proper dewatering tool, your worksite could suffer from erosion, damage, and in severe cases, complete destruction. Cofferdams can be used in a number of applications, but the following five are some of the most common in construction.
Pool & Waterpark Maintenance
Despite the force of water currents, cofferdams have been used quite often in the construction of bridges. By establishing an enclosed area within the water, builders can build or repair the road connection without fear of flooding.
Digging underground to install large pipelines can create a myriad of issues, but water doesn’t have to be one of them. With a cofferdam, you can create a secure single wall against water from the ground up. Whether you’re installing a new pipeline or repairing an existing line, the cofferdam is a perfect solution for keeping water at bay.
3) Boat Ramps
When building a boat ramp, there’s a great need for removing water from the site location. Cofferdams can be used to create a dry worksite to fit the needs of your project. Inflatable cofferdams are an excellent solution for flood protection.
Pro Tip: Save time and money by using an Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Dam for your next boat ramp project, with the capability to work in water up to 6 feet deep.
4) Pool & Waterpark Maintenance
To save time and conserve water, a temporary cofferdam is a great solution for pool or waterpark repairs. AquaBarrier, in particular, is a water-filled cofferdam that is installed in your pool to create a dry work area without having to drain any water.
Unlike most construction projects, canals and culverts are designed with water control in mind. That being said, necessary repairs on culvert concrete or surrounding areas can be weakened if the water isn’t routed in another direction. Cofferdams provide a way for construction workers to get their job done without having to worry about water getting in the way.
Dewatering Solutions Designed for You
Compared to doubled walled cofferdams or rock-filled sheet piles driven into the ground, the AquaBarrier is an affordable solution for projects requiring dewatering. With various dimension sizes and easy handling, it is a water control solution recommended in many construction applications.
In 539 B.C. the first cofferdam was built by King Cyrus of Persia to capture the city of Babylon. While modern dewatering efforts don’t usually concern advancing empires, the cofferdams used today are just as important for construction projects. That being said, the cofferdams used in construction look nothing like what the Persian empire had.
If your construction site is near a body of water, chances are you need a water control solution. A cofferdam used in construction might vary in material and size, but the goal is to divert water from the worksite. By having a system to control nearby water, you can maintain a dry work area for your projects.
Defining a Cofferdam
A cofferdam is defined as a “watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bed of a body of water in order to permit the construction for a pier or other hydraulic work.” In other words, it’s a structure that is able to retain water and pump it out into a different area. Whether it stores water or pumps it in a different location, a cofferdam ensures a dry area for construction sites.
The Evolution of Dewatering
Throughout history, there have been a variety of cofferdams in existence. After those first earthen cofferdams created by the Persians, the Romans created their own cofferdam out of wood pilings. Fast forward to the 1880s, people started to use bags filled with sand to create temporary dams and flood protection.
During the early 1900s, engineers designed a cofferdam that has stood the test of time by using steel sheets. By creating ‘U’ shaped steel sheet piles, each piece was designed to interlock together to ward off water. Also called a cellular cofferdam, the sheet piles are able to form a single wall. Often used in dam construction, the circular arcs of the sheet piles can be used in a variety of water levels.
Introducing the Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Cofferdam
In 1996, innovation and technology collided to create the Aqua-Barrier cofferdam. Unlike past cofferdams, the Aqua-Barrier is an inflatable cofferdam with a patented internal baffle system. Besides being environmentally-friendly and easily transportable, the Aqua-Barrier gives construction sites unparalleled functionality. The quick and user-friendly installation allows construction projects a dewatering solution that doesn’t cut into the actual building phase. With an inflatable water dam, construction sites can save time and money.
Does your construction site need an alternative dewatering solution? Our water-inflated dams have been designed with your projects in mind. Every Aqua-Barrier is equipped with durable materials that can be easily repaired and reused. We’re committed to providing a product that will create a dry site for each of your applications.
Are you ready to protect your construction site from nearby water? Connect with our sales team to customize an inflatable cofferdam for your next project.
With the approach of the winter season, weather conditions are changing. The drop in temperatures present a number of dangers for construction crews, and it’s important to be prepared if a winter storm were to head your way. Prepare your worksite and hard-working crew with these winter construction safety tips.
While OSHA doesn’t have a list of guidelines for workers to follow in cold environments, there are important hazards construction workers should avoid during winter weather. With freezing temperatures and changing weather forecasts, don’t forget to prepare your site and take care of your workers on an ongoing basis.
Construction in Cold Weather
Are you aware of the health risks when working in cold weather? It’s important to encourage your workers to wear warm clothing and to take frequent breaks for workers to stay warm. In the unfortunate situation where winter construction safety isn’t practiced, a member of your team could risk hypothermia, frostbite or in worst cases, death. Learn how to avoid frostbite with these recommendations.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to remind your workers of your winter preparedness plan before a severe weather storm. It’s crucial to keep everyone informed to ensure protection for your whole business.
Importance of Dewatering Your Site
If your construction site is near a body of water, you must remove all of the water before starting a project. A dry site in the winter is necessary for easy installation and safe working conditions. From minimizing slip and falls to avoiding soil erosion, your project will have more success without water. Learn more about the construction applications of site dewatering from our water control experts.
The Possibility of Winter Flooding
No matter where you’re working, there is always a threat for flooding. In the winter, heavy rainstorms and strong wind can cause water to buildup and melt into low areas. Without proper water control, melting lakes or rivers can increase the risk of flooding. Get your construction site prepared with these five winter flooding tips.
Stay Safe in Winter Weather
Are you ready to face the freezing temperatures this winter season? From equipment handling to worker health, construction sites face a number of hazardous elements in the cold weather. This season, don’t wait to start practicing the appropriate safety measures to protect you and your workers.
During the colder months, many businesses and construction sites may not think to safeguard against flooding. If you’re part of this majority, you might think hurricane season is the important time to think about flooding. However, according to FEMA, winter flooding is a major risk for every part of the United States, whether you’re near the coast or not. This winter, make sure your construction site is prepared for this weather threat.
Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the US, and the wintertime isn’t an exception. From storm surges in coastal areas to river flooding from ice jams, no area is protected from winter weather. In the construction industry, the chance of winter flooding can cause extensive damage and project delays. Practice these five steps to get your site ready.
Watch the weather forecasts
Install flooding protection
Store your equipment properly
Plan for project delays
Protect your employees
1) Watch the weather forecasts
Stay ahead of incoming storms by keeping a close eye on what weather forecasters are predicting. For an updated flood outlook for your area, reference the National Weather Service’s updates. Depending on the location of your worksite, the prediction center can help you plan better for potential flooding.
2) Install flooding protection
Be ready for heavy rains and melting snow with a flood protection solution designed for you. Whether you need to install a metal flood barrier or inflatable cofferdam, make sure the barrier is accessible. If water levels were to rise during a storm, you need to be ready. By protecting against winter flood, you can minimize the amount of water damage that affects your site.
Pro Tip: The Aqua-Barrier is an excellent flood control alternative to traditional sandbags. Make sure the cofferdam is apart of the emergency aid kit for your business.
3) Store your equipment properly
Keep your equipment dry and warm this winter season. The severity of winter storms can be hard to predict, but it’s important to have a way to protect your equipment. By moving trucks to higher ground, using appropriate hydraulic oils for cold temperatures, and providing a way to warm tools, you can ensure the durability of your equipment.
4) Plan for project delays
Include weather-based extensions in the contract for your construction project. As much as you’d like to stick to your project’s schedule, rain, snow and ice storms can prevent your workers from being able to build. Be sure to schedule a reasonable completion date by planning for weather delays in advance.
5) Protect your employees
Have you prepared an emergency plan for your employees? In the unfortunate case that your worksite is flooded, it’s important to have a way to keep your employees safe during and after the storm. Be sure to have a first aid kit and communication system convenient for all employees to use in the time of a severe storm.
Are you ready for the winter months?
Whether your construction site is near a body of water or not, it’s important to have the resources available to protect your team and equipment in the winter. That being said, the risk of flood damage is ongoing throughout the year. Make sure you’re prepared to handle the changing weather conditions for your next construction project.
Is your construction site near a body of water? Whether you’re building a bridge or repairing a pipe drain, it’s crucial to have a way to remove water that is effective and accessible for your whole team. That’s the importance of the dewatering process.
What is dewatering exactly? The dewatering process is the removal of water from solid material or soil. In many cases, it’s the removal or draining of groundwater from a riverbed, construction site, caisson, or mine shaft by pumping or evaporation. For construction sites, dewatering is the first step in making sure the project will have a dry and stable foundation.
The Problem with Water
Water is one of the most powerful forces of nature. On a construction site, it can create a number of hazardous work conditions for your workers. With little notice, it can also be the cause of extensive erosion problems. Runoff water can erode the soil on a construction site causing insecure grounding, sediment buildup, and loose contaminants. Without a proper dewatering system, your construction project could find difficulty to be completed.
Benefits of an Aqua-Barrier
While there are several different ways to create a dry construction site, a cofferdam is the most accessible and reliable method of dewatering. The Aqua-Barrier water-filled dam offers quick installation, reusability, and customizable sizing to fit the needs of any construction project. Compared to alternative dewatering methods, the Aqua-Barrier can be easily transported and installed by any member of the construction team. Instead of having to use a sump pump or general water pumps to dewater your site, you can easily start your project with the flexibility of the Aqua-Barrier.
Pro Tip: Stick to your project timeline with an Aqua-Barrier to remove groundwater from your worksite easily and efficiently.
Types of Construction Dewatering
Due to the portability and functionality, there is no limit to the type of projects applicable for a cofferdam. No matter where your construction site might be, there is a way to remove water with Aqua-Barrier inflatable dams. The number of construction applications aren’t limited to, but might include:
Before your project starts showing signs of instability or erosion from surface water, invest in an industry-trusted dewatering solution. With water storage features and in-field repair capabilities, the Aqua-Barrier is your answer for your next construction project.
Do you know the warning signs of frostbite or hypothermia? Completing construction projects in cold weather can present a number of health concerns for your crew. Make sure your construction site is prepared to handle the cold temperatures this season.
Because of skin numbness, most people won’t realize they’re suffering from frostbite unless someone were to point it out. For construction workers, this can be very dangerous. As the manager of your company, how are you planning to help your team avoid frostbite? This winter, it should be your top priority to keep your workers warm and safe on your job site.
Make Training a Priority
The first step to avoiding frostbite or any injury is through proper training. From identifying what clothes to wear to knowing how to recognize a problem, colder weather presents a number of new concerns. Even the healthiest workers can suffer from frostbite or hypothermia; preparing your whole team to watch out for warning signs will protect you from further harm. Hire a professional or enroll your team in a class to teach them the health-related risks.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Out of all of the ways to protect yourself from cold weather, the right construction gear is the most beneficial. Make sure your team has the right clothing to protect against freezing winter air and snow. From hard hats with liners to waterproof jackets, your clothing is the first defense against cold weather. Keep your team protected by providing the appropriate uniform for working in cool temperatures.
Provide Dry and Heated Break Areas
The risk of frostbite and hypothermia is heightened in areas that contain moisture or dampness. Between bridge-building and pipeline construction, the majority of worksites have water in or surrounding them. Protect your workers by allowing regular breaks and providing warm, dry areas to rest. With a portable heater and inflatable cofferdam, you can easily turn your job site into a suitable place for anyone to work.
Pro Tip: Dewatering is the process of removing water from a construction site for better application in construction sites. Invest in a water-barrier for your job site to keep surrounding water under control.
The Importance of Winter Construction Safety
From freezing equipment to slippery work conditions, construction in cold weather can put your workers at risk for trench foot, frostbite, or hypothermia. Without the proper safety measures, your project won’t be completed in time and your workers will get injured. This winter, prepare your job site for the various weather elements that occur.