Caissons, cofferdams, inflatable water dams–what are these terms and how do they relate to your construction project? To stay ahead in your construction progress and successfully complete your work, having a dewatering solution is key. Get the inside look of one of the best inventions in water construction with our guide to cofferdams.
If you’re having to repair a bridge, water is a large factor in your project. Without a way to control water currents or flooding, the quality and safety of your worksite could be in danger. The process of dewatering has experienced many advancements throughout the years. With the modern cofferdam, construction crews don’t have to worry about flooding or soil erosion in their water-based projects.
What are Cofferdams?
Dating back to the days of Persia in 539 B.C., cofferdams have been used in construction for centuries. Cofferdams are watertight enclosures that are temporarily placed in bodies of water to create dry worksites. Today’s cofferdam may be designed with different materials, but the goal is the same: control water flow. Whether you’re building near water or preparing for a flood, cofferdams are a great alternative to sandbags.
Pro Tip: Stop spending a fortune on one-time use cofferdams. Invest in an Aqua-Barrier, the redesigned water control solution that can be reused.
Types of Cofferdams
Depending on the building project, there are different types of cofferdams to consider. Braced cofferdams are designed with single-walled steel sheet piles driven into the water, and cellular cofferdams have double-walled piles that may be filled with clay or sand. Inflatable water dams, in contrast, are made of vinyl material and use the water to create a barrier. Depending on the variable of the specific construction project, the appropriate type of cofferdam may vary from project to project.
Unlike caissons that are installed permanently in water, cofferdams are temporary structures that allow for new construction or maintenance repair. Cofferdams give construction crews the ability to perform their job without water getting in the way. The most common construction applications include:
In construction, water can wreck a project without warning. For construction sites found near bodies of water, it’s crucial to be one step ahead of water damage. Compared to sheet pile cofferdams used in the past, inflatable dams offer a number of advantages for your water projects. If you’re looking for a dewatering solution that can be easily reused, transported, and installed, look no further than the AquaBarrier cofferdam.
Connect with our team to learn more about cofferdams, cofferdam design, and the wide range of cofferdam applications.
When building a bridge or any other structure in water, a dewatering solution is crucial to completing the project successfully. All dewatering methods are essentially the same, specifically to create a dry work environment. There are, however, differences to note when examining a caisson vs. cofferdam. Becoming familiar with these terms will help you and your team choose the best solution for your next project.
Yes, there really is a difference between caissons and cofferdams. While construction novices may use the terms interchangeably, each has unique characteristics. Knowing the differences and how they apply to your construction project will ultimately improve the success of your project.
A caisson is a box-like structure that is permanently fixed within the water table of engineering projects. They are primarily used in the construction of bridges, piers, or similar structures. Depending on the size and scope of the project, there are three different caissons used most commonly.
Open Caissons – Timber, steel, or concrete box that is open at the top and bottom of the structure. The walls are generally heavy and pumped with reinforced concrete to ensure a dry area.
Box Caissons – Watertight boxes usually composed of timber or concrete that are open at the top. They are generally floated to the specific area and then sunk into place with a masonry pier.
Pneumatic Caissons – Primarily used in underwater construction, these boxes are closed at the top and open at the bottom. Water is pushed out during the sinking process by using compressed air.
In comparison, cofferdams are temporary structures that are installed to divert water away from worksites. Cofferdams are most commonly used in new construction works or short-term maintenance projects of shallow bridges, piers, or boat ramps. Traditional cofferdams are filled with concrete or rock to restrict nearby water or river flow. Comparatively, inflatable cofferdams use water pumps to inflate themselves and create a temporary dam.
Pro Tip: AquaBarrier cofferdams are not only environmentally-friendly but easy to install. Save time and money by choosing a dewatering solution that your whole crew can use.
Caisson vs. Cofferdam
Not all building projects are created equal. With that being said, where a cofferdam could be installed, a caisson may not be applicable. Both caissons and cofferdams are watertight structures that can be used in the construction of submerged water areas.
The difference, however, lies within the scope of the project. Caissons are permanent structures found in the initial design construction, whereas cofferdams are temporary structures installed for necessary repairs or maintenance.
Solutions for Your Work Area
Are you building a bridge or pier near a large body of water? Do you have a preferred dewatering solution? High water levels could impede your project’s timeline so it’s crucial to prepare your worksite in advance. Whether it’s a caisson or cofferdam, choose the right water control solution for your next project.
The new year is a great time to reevaluate your progress and set goals for the future. As you start setting resolutions for 2020, it’s important to think of ways to improve your business and protect your employees. By investing in an Aqua-Barrier cofferdam, you can complete this year’s projects with ease and efficiency.
Is your construction site located near a large body of water? Do you need to store a large amount of water? Do you live in a region with flooding potential? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need an Aqua-Barrier inflatable dam. Among the many reasons why an Aqua-Barrier product would be a worthy investment, pay attention these three.
1. Emergency Flood Protection
When a hurricane is headed your way, you need to protect your residential or commercial properties. The Aqua-Barrier has been designed to provide substantial flood protection. This year, don’t neglect to prepare for the hurricane season. Instead, purchase a water inflated dam to create a flood barrier to protect your property where and when you need it.
Pro Tip: In comparison to wasteful sandbags, our water-filled barrier is made of environmentally-safe materials for easy cleanup and reusability.
2. Range of Applications
Do you need to dewater your construction site or create a temporary water barrier? Our inflated cofferdams are versatile for any use. From boat ramps to pipeline construction, we take great pride in the range of industries that our Aqua-Barrier can be applied to. With customized sizes that fit your work area, the cofferdam is designed with you in mind.
No matter what may have transpired in 2019, the start of a new year welcomes a fresh start and room to achieve your goals. If you’ve been unable to invest in an Aqua-Barrier for your business, there’s no better time than now to protect your business.
Do you have the necessary construction equipment for your next project? Does your crew have what they need to work efficiently? With our wide range of water storage solutions and equipment rentals, our construction equipment list is a great way to ensure your worksite or remodel is fully prepared.
Whether you’re in the middle of a building project or bridge reconstruction, there are different pieces of construction equipment that might be required. Don’t forget to ensure that your worksite is fully prepared so that your project is completed efficiently and effectively.
Aqua-Barrier Water Storage
Aqua-Barrier Water Storage
On a construction site, clean water might be hard to access and difficult to store. Our Aqua-Barrier Water Storage, formerly known as Insta-Tank is a lightweight solution for a wide range of scenarios. From storing water during a pool repair to keeping freshwater for portable restrooms, the reliability of our pillow tanks is unquestioned.
We offer multiple portable pumps to assist in dewatering and sewage removal. The trustworthiness and durability of our pumps will ensure that your project is completed seamlessly. With easy transport and quick access, we’re your source for rentable pumps.
Pro Tip: If you’re in need of a dry worksite, the cofferdam is your ultimate solution. Instead of using sandbags, use water-inflated dams to protect your construction site.
No matter what the weather or location, light towers are a necessity for your construction crew. With adjusted light settings and varying heights, our light towers are mobile and available for rent year-round. Moreover, don’t leave your crew in the dark! Make sure you have access to a light tower for your next project.
Whatever power tools you’re using on you’re a construction site, you’re going to need an air compressor to keep them functioning. From jackhammers, sanders, grinders, to blasting systems, your construction crew will finish their project more efficiently with a compressor on site. Our selection of air compressors will be available in the near future. Contact one of our associates today!
If your construction project involves abrasive blasting, it’s necessary to have a blast pot in your system. Whether you’re preparing a surface for coating or working to remove rust from materials, the blast pot is a necessary component for your crew. Our choice of blast pot systems will be available soon. If you’re interested in renting this piece of equipment, contact a member of our team today!
Preparing your Construction Site
In the construction industry, having the proper equipment enhances the safety of your workers and the efficiency of your finished product. As you start planning for your next project, don’t neglect to rent the necessary equipment and prepare your worksite correctly.
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.
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
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.