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The Fascinating History of Cofferdams

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.

  1. Earthen Cofferdam
  2. Roman Cofferdam
  3. Sandbags
  4. Steel Sheet Pile Cofferdam
  5. 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.

3) Sandbags

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. The inflatable cofferdam comes in a variety of sizes and can be tailored to your specific needs. Click To Tweet

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.