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  • Herbert Mack

The Principles of Water Barriers


Water from floods can take time to build up, allowing the population in an area time to be warned in advance. But sometimes flooding occurs quickly, this is when it pays to be prepared with absorbent materials. There are a number of basic principles and approaches regarding flood prevention, protection and mitigation. Many homeowners have approached us about home flood barriers in the last few months. Our solution is a real residential flood barrier that is portable and made of water activated absorbent materials. Unfortunately, we cannot control when or where flooding will occur. The nature of floods is very unpredictable and permanent walls have rarely provided a good solution since flooding often occur in different places and with irregular time intervals. Instead, successful flood control has come to rely on temporary flood barriers. A flood barrier is essentially a wall constructed to stop flood water from damaging property or entering an area. The first flood barriers were built with sandbags and required a team of 10 or more to erect. For decades, military and volunteers have been hauling sandbags to build flood barriers, it has been slow, ineffective process. Levees and floodwalls are types of flood protection barriers. A levee is typically a compacted earthen structure; a floodwall is an engineered structure usually built of concrete, masonry, or a combination of both. Barriers can be built to protect a single structure or multiple structures. Types of barriers include levees, floodwalls, and temporary barriers. Several types of temporary barriers are available to address typical flooding problems. They work with the same principles as permanent barriers, such as floodwalls or levees, but can be removed, stored, and reused in subsequent flood events. Most of these barriers are meant to take the place of sandbag floodwalls. All barriers exposed to floodwaters for an extended period of time will be subject to seepage or leakage. If the duration of flooding is relatively short and the depth of flooding is relatively low, many barriers will slow down the effects of flooding. Damage from a flood can be lessened with preparation of a spill kit.

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