The Need for Water-Filled Cofferdams in Construction
In construction, cofferdams, sometimes called caissons, are commonly used for a range of applications. These structures are typically temporary, and they isolate a submerged work area to allow for work in dry conditions. Three types of cofferdams are used today — steel sheet pile, earth or gravel-filled and water-filled. The AquaDam is an innovative water-filled cofferdam that offers the flexibility needed on construction sites for dewatering and flood control.
How Does the AquaDam Work as Flood Control for Construction Sites?
The AquaDam is a water-filled cofferdam that features two water-tight polyethylene tubes inside a woven outer sleeve. An integrated stability baffle forms the two inner chambers and creates the firmness the cofferdam needs for temporary projects. After proper installation, the AquaDam can control up to 75% of its height in water depth and external mud. These products will not roll once filled with water and will operate as temporary dams for construction in various applications.
Installing the AquaDam involves unrolling the product across the body of water where dewatering is required. After unrolling, the installation team must use pumps to fill the cofferdam with the water located on site. With various heights and lengths available, construction teams can find the appropriate AquaDam product for current projects.
The installation process for the AquaDam is more cost-effective than traditional methods and requires less effort than other approaches. The AquaDam also minimizes environmental effects by limiting contaminants that often accompany other dam types. The side-by-side tube design offers greater stability than other water-filled cofferdams, and the flexibility allows the product to align with any path requirements.
While the AquaDam is a reliable cofferdam for bridge construction, shoreline restoration, pipeline flooding and more, it still has limitations. It is essential to understand what the AquaDam can achieve and how certain circumstances and environments may limit its capabilities.
Typically, the AquaDam can effectively control 75% of its height in water depth. This rating reduces in the following conditions:
- Vertical walls
- Poly pond liners
- Oil-impregnated soils
The AquaDam can still function in these circumstances but may not offer the highest level of water depth control.
Other considerations for AquaDam use include:
- Excavation: The AquaDam and the soil it sits on must remain separate from any excavation activities to prevent breaking and shifting.
- Vandalism: This method of flood control for construction sites is vulnerable to vandalism. If established in a highly populated area, 24/7 surveillance may be required to prevent damage to the product.
- Fill point: Fullness is reached when the AquaDam reaches its design height as measured from the lowest point. Filling past this point will not improve control capabilities and increases the risk of bursting. Overtopping is also not an option as the AquaDam will not come with additional water-filled barriers. Smaller “fuse” dams can be placed around the AquaDam if water levels may rise above the product’s controllable water depth.
- Reuse: After removing the AquaDam following a construction project, reuse may be possible if removal is handled delicately. However, reuse is not guaranteed.
- Maintenance: To keep the AquaDam filled, periodic pumping maintenance may be required.
Cofferdam Construction Options
When using the AquaDam for construction projects, the team must first identify the maximum mud and water level that must be controlled throughout the project. It is best practice to select an AquaDam with a higher depth rating than expected to account for unexpected fluctuations in water levels.
Possible applications include:
- Bridge construction and repair: Infrastructure maintenance teams may need access to bridge parts under water. The AquaDam provides dewatering for easy access to these components. When structures need to be built from the ground up, AquaDam gives teams access to land below.
- Dredging: Teams may rely on the dredging process to clean up construction debris following a project. With the AquaDam, teams can dewater areas for easier removal of debris.
- Pipeline flooding: Construction teams often complete pipeline flooding to remove sediment, wax and debris following installation or as regular maintenance. Dewatering with the AquaDam can help teams achieve this process more efficiently.
- Flood control: For construction sites, flooding can lead to significant disruptions and damage to work completed. The AquaDam can provide flood control in the event that water levels rise.
In cases where dewatering is a requirement, construction teams can turn to AquaDam.
Get More Information About the AquaDam
The AquaDam is a valuable product for construction teams in need of dewatering and flood control. With all the possible applications, AquaDam can support many different goals and project needs. Fill out the online contact form today for more information, or reach out to the AquaDam team at 1-800-682-9283.