A cofferdam is a type of structure constructed to create an enclosure of dry space within a wet area such as a river or harbor. Cofferdams are generally used for construction, repairs on essential infrastructure such as bridges, ecological cleanup, and protecting at-risk regions from flooding. While cofferdams have been around since humanity started constructing complex systems near waterways, a new form of cofferdam has arisen in the past century. Commonly made of wood, steel, concrete, or other rigid materials, the cofferdam is typically a semi-permanent damming option that often takes days or weeks and a sizable workforce. Enter now, the temporary or inflatable cofferdam. The inflatable cofferdam is made of polyester and other geotextile materials and represents the latest innovation in the history of damming options, and is one of the most effective methods of removing water intrusion available today.
What Makes Up An Inflatable Cofferdam
Inflatable cofferdams differ from their contemporaries in several ways and have several features unique to the material. These include the following:
- Inflatable cofferdams are flexible and able to fit almost anywhere with any layout.
- Non-invasive into subsurface earth, limiting the damage to riverbeds and other locations.
- Water inflated rather than blocking the water outright.
- Quick install and removal process that requires limited working crewmembers.
- Inexpensive and reusable when installed and removed correctly.
- Interconnectable and able to reach across vast distances with ease
How Inflatable Cofferdams Work
Inflatable cofferdams are installed on-site and used for all manner of dewatering. They are made of sectionalized intertubes with water control baffles between the cells, which inflate using the available water and create a watertight seal around an area you want to be enclosed. Once inflated, with walls ranging from 2-10+ft in height, the inflatable cofferdam becomes a heavy barrier that can stop even free-flowing waters and provide a safe and dry working area.
Uses For Inflatable Cofferdams
Some of the most prominent uses, but certainly not all use cases, for inflatable cofferdams are:
- Construction in areas in or around water sources which can include Bridge Construction, Boat Ramp Construction, Canal And Culvert Construction, Harbor and Dock Construction
- Dredging operations where water levels need to be lowered or removed entirely.
- Topsoil retention and sediment control
- Ecological cleanup operations after a spillage or damage
- Flooding control and prevention
- Piping installation, repair, and removal
- Temporary river crossing solutions
Environmental Benefits of Inflatable Cofferdams
Inflatable cofferdams limit the damage to the environment and conform to various government guidelines on clean water. A temporary cofferdam is a safer alternative to traditionally built materials first because the footprint on the bottom of lakes and rivers is minimal due to the lack of drilling and the need for installation. Furthermore, an inflatable cofferdam limits time and doesn’t overstay its welcome in water sources. Many other cofferdam options are semi-permanent and require considerable effort to remove cleanly. An inflatable cofferdam takes next to no time to deflate and remove, leaving behind no residual structures, and does not have the chance to contaminate waters in the same way as degrading steel or concrete.
Do You Need An Inflatable Cofferdam For Your Next Project?
Is an inflatable cofferdam right for you? No matter what size cofferdam you need, we have the solution at Dam-It-Dams. Our team of experts bring their decades of construction knowledge to the forefront and are prepared to get you solutions, whether your need is big or small. Further, we do inflatable cofferdam rentals! Don’t want to waste your time or effort when only a single project may need inflatable cofferdams? Dam-It-Dams has what you need, permanent or temporary. Call us today at 810-695-1695 and schedule your consultation.
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