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7 Different Kinds of Dams & Their Uses

7 Different Kinds of Dams & Their Uses

7 Different Kinds of Dams & Their Uses

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

Did you know there is more than one kind of dam and they each have a different use? Here are 7 different kinds of dams and how they are used. Click To Tweet

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.

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

4) Cofferdam

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.

6 Applications That Rely on Fast Dewatering Systems

6 Applications That Rely on Fast Dewatering Systems

Managing any project can be challenging, but especially when the project requires dewatering. An Aqua-Barrier inflatable cofferdam is the perfect tool to use in your dewatering system. You will save time, money, and manpower when you use an inflatable cofferdam to dewater your work area. Think dewatering is just for bridge repair? Think again. Here are 6 applications that rely on fast dewatering systems. Click To Tweet

When Use a Dewatering System?

You might be wondering what type of projects require a dewatering system. Here are six applications that rely on fast dewatering systems for a dry work site.

  1. Bridge Building & Repair
  2. Concrete Repairs
  3. Pipeline Construction
  4. Shoreline Restoration
  5. Flood Protection
  6. Waterpark/Pool Maintenance

1) Bridge Building & Repair

Many bridges take people over rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water and these bridge repair projects typically require dewatering or water diversion.

2) Concrete Repairs

If you have an underwater concrete repair, you most certainly need the area dry before you begin work. Whether you are working on a canal, culvert, or boat ramp, a dry work site is a necessity.

3) Pipeline Construction

Pipeline workers need to practice safe excavation procedures, as well as the proper and best tools for the job. Pipeline construction projects tend to have terrain issues, and an inflatable cofferdam is a perfect tool to help keep everyone safe and get the area dry.

Pro Tip: Need fast dewatering for your next project? Sandbags are time-consuming and costly A water-inflated dam is fast to set up and ensures a safe and dry work area.

4) Shoreline Restoration

Cofferdams work wonderfully to separate harmful work site emissions from sensitive aquatic wildlife during your shoreline restoration and stabilization projects.

5) Flood Protection

One of the most devastating forms of natural disasters is flooding. Using Aqua-Barrier® Cofferdam to guard your business by placing it around the premises will help to prevent invasive water from damaging your property. With hurricane season in full swing, consider renting or purchasing a flood prevention dam.

6) Waterpark/Pool Maintenance

All pools and waterparks have one thing in common–they take maintenance. Commercial pools and waterparks need to be occasionally drained, whether for a deep cleaning, or to correct the pH and chemicals.

Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Cofferdam

Aqua-Barrier® can be installed 3-5 faster than other older, traditional methods. You can save significant time in the dewatering process so you can complete projects better and faster than your competition.

Contact us to learn more applications that rely on fast dewatering systems.

Top Pipeline Construction Safety Tips

Top Pipeline Construction Safety Tips

According to OSHA, between 2011 and 2017, there were 79 fatalities and over 3070 non-fatal injuries among gas and pipeline workers. And while pipeline construction workers are at a higher risk of accidents, the good news is most are preventable when proper construction safety tips are practiced. Do you know how to protect your crew from the many risks of pipeline construction? Follow this guide for a successful and safe project. Click To Tweet

Staying Safe: Pipeline Construction Industry

Due to exceptionally heavy equipment, terrain issues, suspended loads, and many times inexperienced workers, pipeline construction workers have an increased risk of injury. To prevent accidents and keep everyone on the worksite safe, follow these six pipeline construction safety tips

  1. Company Culture of Safety
  2. Ongoing Safety Training
  3. Personal Protective Equipment
  4. Safe Excavation Procedures
  5. Heavy Equipment Safety
  6. Constant Awareness

1) Company Culture of Safety

Above all, safety trickles down from the top. Leaders need to create a culture of safety and set it at top priority. Everyone from the newest recruit through the CEO needs to have a safety first mindset. Leaders need to constantly communicate the importance and need for safety and make sure safety measures are always being implemented.

2) Ongoing Safety Training

Ongoing pipeline construction safety training needs to be a regular part of your company’s safety culture. By holding ongoing training classes, safe habits can be reinforced and new safety techniques and procedures can be learned.

3) Personal Protective Equipment

Pipeline workers should always be wearing their personal protective equipment, such as heavy steel-toed boots, eye protection, gloves, hard hats, or whatever else is needed to keep workers safe from harm.

4) Safe Excavation Procedures

Pipeline workers need to practice safe excavation procedures. Make sure they call to verify all underground utilities are marked prior to digging and also supply them with the best tools for excavating. For example, if working in an area that requires dewatering, don’t waste time on cumbersome sandbags that can cause back pain, opt for an inflatable cofferdam that can be set up quicker and safer.

5) Heavy Equipment Safety

Operators who work with heavy equipment need to be properly trained. Make sure they read the operation and maintenance manuals for each piece of equipment they work on. Before getting on a machine, they should already know how to properly use and operate the tool.

6) Constant Awareness

Many times, injuries happen because people just aren’t paying attention. Avoid slips, falls, and other accidents by always being aware of your surroundings. If you see debris laying in a walking path, clear it out of the way to help others from being injured, too.

Pipeline Construction Safety

When your workers feel safe, they are more productive and overall output is of higher quality. Go beyond normal safety standards and keep these higher standards enforced. By following the above tips, you can help make your pipeline construction sites safe and lower (if not remove) incidents of injury and accidents.

Contact us to learn more about pipeline construction safety tips.

A Quick and Easy Guide to Inflatable Bladder Dam Installation

A Quick and Easy Guide to Inflatable Bladder Dam Installation

Inflatable bladder dams are the essential tool when you need a dry worksite for your project. These environmentally safe alternatives to sandbags and classic cofferdams. They are ideal for flood prevention, and other dewatering projects, such as concrete repairs, boat ramp repair and installation, pipeline construction, pool maintenance, and more. One of the best things about these effective tools is how easy and quick inflatable bladder dam installation is! Click To Tweet

Easy Inflatable Bladder Dam Installation

An inflatable bladder dam can be used on all terrains and in every scenario you encounter.  Here are three worksite scenarios that are perfect for inflatable bladder dams, and how to install them.

  1. Inflatable dams for dry surface projects
  2. Bladder dams for static water worksites
  3. Inflatable bladder dams for projects with moving water

1) Inflatable Dams for Dry Surface Projects

When using an inflatable bladder dam for dry surface projects installation is simple! Just roll it out and inflate it! This method is usually used prior to severe weather to prevent flooding.

2) Bladder Dams for Static Water Worksites

Many times, there is non-moving or standing water on a site that needs removal. This is typical of boat ramp work, pipeline construction, and other construction projects. In this case, the bladder dam barriers are buoyant and will float on the water’s surface. Simply place the bladder dam at the water’s edge and then unroll the dam. Position it where you need it to be and then simply fill it.

3) Inflatable Bladder Dams for Projects with Moving Water

There are instances when water is moving on your worksite, as with bridge repairs. When this occurs, it’s necessary to position the barriers by controlling the ends with hydraulic equipment such as a track hoe or crane. You may also need to anchor at least one end of the bladder dam to the shoreline.

Advantages of Inflatable Bladder Dams

Because inflatable bladder dams can be installed 3 to 5 times faster than traditional methods, you might be wasting time and money by using outdated and timely methods such as sandbags or other cofferdams. If you are looking to streamline operations and prevent your team from hassles, an inflatable bladder dam is a perfect option for your construction and dewatering needs.

Contact us to learn more about how easy and simple an inflatable bladder dam installation really is.

*Please note: These descriptions aren’t intended to be comprehensive installation instructions. They are simplified to give you an overview of the process. Your inflatable cofferdam provider will give you comprehensive instructions.

A Faster Dewatering Solution for Pipeline Construction and Repair

A Faster Dewatering Solution for Pipeline Construction and Repair

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to dewater your worksite for pipeline construction and repair? It’s likely you have spent some time researching and are looking for the fastest dewatering solution available. Whether you are installing a pipeline underneath a body of water or building near the water, the success of your project depends on keeping your worksite dry.

Conventional Dewatering Methods

You may be relying on some of these more conventional methods that have been around for millennia:

  • Earthen dams
  • Sandbags
  • Sheet pile
  • Pumping

These methods have conventionally been relied on heavily to complete pipeline construction or repair projects requiring dewatering. While they have been successful for the most part, these methods do leave room for concern. Conventional methods have been known to be messy, with a negative impact on the environment. Many of them are often time-consuming to deploy, and cost-prohibitive – affecting your bottom line.

Quick and Efficient Dewatering for Pipeline Construction and Repair

Aqua Barrier® is different than any other dewatering solution on the market. It provides the fastest and most efficient dewatering solution for pipeline construction and repair. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Can Withstand High and Uneven Pressure
  • Eliminates the Need for Pumping or Sandbagging
  • Aqua Barrier® can be Installed in Less than 3 Hours
  • Comes in Various Sizes to Fit Any Size Project
  • Can be used on Slick Surfaces Using Steel Piping
  • Resistant to Cold Temperatures (See how the Frost Buster kept water inside of the barrier from freezing on this Minnesota pipeline repair)
  • And it’s Eco-Friendly!

Perhaps most importantly to project engineers and construction managers is the cost savings. This new dewatering solution has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on big construction projects. Savings come in both time and money which is crucial in the field of construction; a construction project using sheet piling costs over $41,000 versus less than $19,000 using the Aqua Barrier®. And when you’re finished, simply drain the barriers for quick removal.

Due to its versatility, many contractors choose to rent rather than purchase Aqua-Barriers® as different projects require different sizes.

Aqua Barrier® water-inflated cofferdams save potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in project costs and lots of time in man-hours. It offers the fastest install and removal of any dewatering method on the market. Contact Us for more information on using a water-inflated temporary cofferdam for your next pipeline construction or repair project.

Aqua-Barrier® Temporary Cofferdams – Quick Facts

Temporary Cofferdams for Pump ReplacementHow the Aqua-Barrier® Compares to Other Temporary Cofferdams

Safe and reliable:  The patented internal baffle provides the most stable and safe system on the market

Engineering: Aqua-Barriers are backed by engineering data (Master Spec, Engineer Stamp, Aqua comp Software)

Convenience: Manufacturing – Sales – Service – Repair … all in one place by a TEAM  that has almost 50 years of experience cumulatively

Versatile: restrain water, contain water, divert water, frac and hydra testing, flood protection, erosion control, turbidity — we have done it all !

Unique qualities: No other water inflated dam has a patented internal baffle. It is unique to Aqua-Barrier and Hydrological Solution’s products as are the fittings and accessories

Reusable:  Aqua-Barriers are designed for multiple uses and are infield repairable without replacement components

Labor reduction: The exclusive accessories – lifting loops / fill ports / drain ports / work in combination to reduce man-hours which results in savings during install and removal

World-Wide: Our products are sold world-wide and all are made in the USA

Service: our TEAM responds quickly to serve you with minimal wait time and that service does not end at POS – we are available throughout your project to give you the benefit of our experience and knowledge. 

Learn More

Our Aqua-Barrier® temporary cofferdams are best in class and work well for various industries.  Contact us to learn more about how our system can benefit your next dewatering project.


Related Links:

The Water-Inflated Cofferdam: A Dewatering Solution For Many Industries

5 Key Benefits of a Water Filled Cofferdam