Working in or around water has long been a concern for construction workers and environmental conservationists. With the dangers inherent in flowing waters, the potential for flooding, and the like, it requires little imagination to conclude that temporarily damming waters is essential for humanity. That is why cofferdams have existed in some capacity for over two millennia and continue to be crucial tools in many industries. However, like the LED light that evolved from incandescent, lanterns, candles, torches, and fire, the inflatable cofferdam is the most recent cutting-edge technology for our modern world. Where there has never been a more critical time for eco-friendly solutions, the inflatable cofferdam has risen to take the mantle as the best option for many who wish to protect water and defend the environment going into the future.
The Evolution of Cofferdams
Cofferdams were simple structures in ancient times made from stone, earth, or wood; they would temporarily block waterways to construct canals, culverts, bridges, and structures near waterways. As time progressed, the size of cofferdams grew, as did the materials used to fabricate them. In recent memory, we have had sandbags, which made transporting earthen barriers simpler, and steel cofferdams, more robust than their old counterparts. While steel is still used, especially in deep water construction, like oil platforms, inflatable cofferdams have spawned to fill the niche of blocking waters, ranging from a few inches to 10+ feet in depth. With their modular design, inflatable cofferdams can be interconnected to span entire rivers or protect shorelines. But what makes them different from other damming methods?
Environmental Benefits Of Inflatable Cofferdams
Inflatable cofferdams are more friendly for the environment due to a long list of factors, from construction methods to usage, but the most significant of those benefits include the following:
- Time: While saving time saves money, it also can be a factor in environmental conservation. Traditional cofferdam methods can take days, or even weeks, to construct and often just as long or longer to take down. The longer a cofferdam is in place, the more it blocks the natural flow of water and can impact things downstream or cause isolated areas to become stagnant. Inflatable cofferdams, on the other hand, can be erected and deconstructed in just a matter of hours, limiting their impact and lessening future damage.
- Lasting Impact: The lasting impact, or more specifically the lack thereof, with inflatable cofferdams cannot be understated. While traditional methods require extensive changes to the surrounding environment, from drilling holes to pouring concrete, an inflatable cofferdam only leaves a shallow impression in the soil of where it once was, which can be quickly eradicated naturally.
- Use Cases: In several cases, inflatable cofferdams excel in eco-friendly environments. These include wildlife rehabilitation, shoreline erosion, watershed control, and more.
- Recyclability: Inflatable cofferdams can be used repeatedly, at any number of locations, and fulfill the needs of multiple cofferdam types with only a single purchase. Moreover, thanks to the materials used in cofferdams, they do not leak harmful chemicals into the water. They are almost entirely recyclable, reducing construction’s carbon footprint and ensuring a cleaner future.
The Future is Bright for Inflatable Cofferdams
The future is forever a mystery, and while we are no fortune tellers, we know that inflatable cofferdams will continue to be prominent for centuries. As the process of cofferdam construction becomes more refined and new technologies are introduced, inflatable cofferdams represent the first step to even larger and more complex projects that can be fulfilled with an eco-friendly mindset.
To learn more about inflatable cofferdams and to get a free quote, call 810-695-1695 today!