If you’ve been following our Cofferdam Comparison series, you have seen the differences and benefits so far of using water-inflated cofferdams over sheet pile and sandbags. But how do these temporary cofferdams compare to earthen dams?
Earthen dams have been used for dewatering for thousands of years. In 539 BC, the King of Persia used earthen cofferdams to temporarily divert the Euphrates river, allowing the capture of Babylon. Although earthen dams are still used today, cofferdams have continued to evolve and for many dewatering jobs, the water-inflated cofferdam has proven to be a better solution.
Failure of Earthen Dams
Because earthen dams are made of dirt, their structure has weaknesses that may cause it to fail. Sloughing or piping may occur where dirt is progressively removed from the edge of the dam or erosion occurs when soil grains are removed from within the body of the dam. This can allow seepage and a general breakdown of the dam.
Benefits of the Water-inflated Cofferdam
Alternatively, the Aqua-Barrier® water-inflated cofferdam, introduced into the marketplace in 1996, features a patented internal baffle system, which provides more stability and control. It comes with unique accessories, making the system quick and easy to install and a cost-effective way of controlling the water flow in an easier and convenient manner.
The dams are custom designed to integrate seamless construction, curtailed stress concentrations, superior clamping, zero or minimal creases and robust flow division control. High-strength and powerful fabrics with weather and abrasion resistance features are used.
When compared with earthen dams, the Aqua-Barrier® water-inflated cofferdam provides the following benefits:
- Turbidity emissions are dramatically reduced
- No foreign material is brought to the job site
- No need for post-construction restoration which saves time and money
- Reduction in workers’ comp claims because the time and use of heavy equipment is greatly reduced
- Fuel consumption is greatly reduced because of rapid installation and removal time
Calculate Your Savings
One of the greatest advantages of using water-inflated cofferdams over earthen dams is the savings on equipment, labor, and cost. Use our Cofferdam Cost Calculator to see how much you can save with Aqua-Barrier® cofferdams on your next dewatering project.
Contact us to learn more about how water-inflated cofferdams compare to earthen dams.