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Publication numberUS20050260038 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/966,149
Publication dateNov 24, 2005
Filing dateOct 18, 2004
Priority dateNov 20, 2000
Also published asWO2002040780A1
Publication number10966149, 966149, US 2005/0260038 A1, US 2005/260038 A1, US 20050260038 A1, US 20050260038A1, US 2005260038 A1, US 2005260038A1, US-A1-20050260038, US-A1-2005260038, US2005/0260038A1, US2005/260038A1, US20050260038 A1, US20050260038A1, US2005260038 A1, US2005260038A1
InventorsAlberto Sousa Costa
Original AssigneeFloodmaster Design Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydraulic dam
US 20050260038 A1
Abstract
To facilitate construction of an hydraulic dam, a water fillable barrier has a tubular water fillable portion with a tongue projecting from one end. The tongued end of the barrier may abut the tubular sidewall of a second such water fillable barrier with the tongue wrapped around the second barrier and lashed to the first barrier. This arrangement allows the effective construction of a corner in an hydraulic dam. To extend the length of the dam, opposed ends of each of two end-to-end water fillable barriers may be overlapped within a sleeve. When the barriers are then filled with water, they foreshorten. This pulls the overlapping portions back in order to form a high pressure end-to-end abutment between the barriers.
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Claims(20)
1. A water fillable barrier, comprising:
a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall and a pair of opposed end walls;
a flexible tongue extending along and outwardly from one end wall of said pair of opposed end walls.
2. The barrier of claim 1 wherein said tongue has a length at least as long as a circumference of said water fillable portion when filled with water.
3. The barrier of claim 2 wherein said tongue is integrally formed with said water fillable portion.
4. The barrier of claim 3 wherein said water fillable portion and said tongue are formed of linear low density polyethylene.
5. The barrier of claim 4 further comprising at least one port for admission of water into said water fillable portion, said port flush mounted in said water fillable portion.
6. The barrier of claim 1 wherein another end wall of said pair of said opposed end walls has no tongue.
7. The barrier of claim 1 wherein said tongue has a sheet-like configuration and a width approximating a diameter of said water fillable portion when filled with water.
8. An hydraulic dam, comprising:
a first water filled barrier comprising: a first barrier tubular water filled portion and a first barrier flexible tongue extending outwardly from one end wall of said first barrier tubular water filled portion;
a second water filled barrier comprising: a second barrier tubular water filled portion;
said one end wall of said first barrier tubular water filled portion abutting a sidewall of said second barrier tubular water filled portion;
said first barrier tongue extending around said second barrier tubular water filled portion and terminating at a point along said first barrier tubular water filled portion;
a first band surrounding said first barrier tubular water filled portion and said first barrier tongue in order to secure a fee end portion of said first barrier tongue.
9. The dam of claim 8 wherein:
said second water filled barrier further comprises a second barrier flexible tongue extending outwardly from one end wall of said second barrier tubular water filled portion;
said one end wall of said first barrier tubular water filled portion abuts said side of said second barrier tubular water filled portion proximate said one end wall of said second barrier tubular water filled portion;
said second barrier tongue extends along said first barrier tongue and terminates at a point along said second barrier tubular water filled portion; and
a second band surrounds said second barrier tubular water filled portion and said second barrier tongue in order to secure a fee end portion of said second barrier tongue.
10. The dam of claim 9 further comprising:
a third water filled barrier comprising: a third barrier tubular water filled portion and a third barrier flexible tongue extending outwardly from one end wall of said third barrier tubular water filled portion;
a fourth water filled barrier comprising: a fourth barrier tubular water filled portion;
a sidewall of said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion abutting said sidewall of said second barrier tubular water filled portion;
said one end wall of said third barrier tubular water filled portion abutting said sidewall of said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion;
a sidewall of said third barrier tubular water filled portion abutting a sidewall of said first barrier tubular water filled portion;
said third barrier tongue extending around said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion and overlapping a top of said third barrier tubular water filled portion;
a third band surrounding said third barrier tubular water filled portion and said third barrier tongue in order to secure a fee end portion of said third barrier tongue.
11. The dam of claim 10 wherein:
said fourth water filled barrier further comprises a flexible fourth barrier tongue extending outwardly from one end wall of said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion;
said one end wall of said third barrier tubular water filled portion abuts said side of said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion proximate said one end wall of said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion;
said fourth barrier tongue extends over said third barrier tongue and terminates at a point along said fourth barrier tubular water filled portion; and
a fourth band surrounds said second barrier tubular water filled portion and said second barrier tongue in order to secure a fee end portion of said second barrier tongue.
12. The dam of claim 12 wherein a band surrounds said first water filled barrier and said third water filled barrier and wherein a band surrounds said second water filled barrier and said fourth water filled barrier.
13. A method of erecting an hydraulic dam, comprising:
placing a first water fillable barrier comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall and a pair of opposed end walls and a flexible tongue extending along and outwardly from one end wall of said pair of opposed end walls;
placing a second water fillable barrier comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall and a pair of opposed end walls such that said second barrier sidewall abuts said one end wall of said first barrier;
filling said first water fillable barrier and said second water fillable barrier;
wrapping said tongue around said second water fillable barrier and along an end portion of said first water fillable barrier;
affixing a free end portion of said tongue to said first water fillable barrier.
14. The method of claim 12 wherein said affixing comprises, before placing said first water fillable barrier, placing a band and, after said wrapping said tongue, wrapping said band around said first barrier fillable portion and said end portion of said tongue.
15. A method of erecting an hydraulic dam, comprising:
in respect of first and second water fillable barriers, each comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall:
overlapping an end portion of said second of said water fillable barriers with an end portion of said first of said water fillable barriers within a sleeve surrounding said end portions;
filling said first and second water fillable barriers to thereby cause said first and second water fillable barriers to foreshorten and form a high pressure end-to-end abutment between said first and second water fillable barriers.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein said second water fillable barrier is filled before said first water fillable barrier.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein said end portion of said second of said water fillable barriers is overlapped with said first of said water fillable barriers and subsequently said sleeve is slid over said overlapping portions.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein said overlapping comprises aligning an end of said second of said water fillable portion with a visual mark on said first of said water fillable barriers.
19. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
in respect of said first and second water fillable barriers and additional water fillable barriers each comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall:
placing a ground sheet;
placing a plurality of bands on said ground sheet;
placing said water fillable barriers over said bands;
anchoring at least some of said water fillable barriers with anchors; and
after said filling, securing said water fillable barriers to each other with at least some of said bands.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein said water fillable barriers is a first plurality of water fillable barriers and further comprising:
after said securing, placing a second plurality of water fillable barriers on said first plurality of filled water fillable barriers;
filling said second plurality of water fillable barriers; and
securing said second plurality of water fillable barriers to said first plurality of water fillable barriers with some of said bands.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/432,283 filed on May 20, 2003, which application is a U.S. National Stage entry of International PCT Application No. PCT/CA00/01363 having an international filing date of Nov. 20, 2000. The contents of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/432,283 are incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a water fillable barrier, an hydraulic dam comprised of water filled barriers, and a method of erecting an hydraulic dam.

Every year large scale floods cause massive property damage and claim many lives. Typically, efforts are made to protect property from flooding by sandbagging. However, transporting large numbers of sandbags to a flood site is difficult due to the cumulative weight of the bags. Further, building protective sandbag walls is very labour intensive.

It has been conceived to use water filled barriers to selectively dam against flooding. This has the obvious advantage that the barriers may be shipped empty and filled with water on site. U.S. Pat. No. 5,857,806 to Melin describes an exemplary water filled barrier. However, there is at present no wide spread use of hydraulic dams. It is believed this is due to the absence of a water barrier system which effectively stems flood waters.

This invention seeks to overcome drawbacks of known water barriers and hydraulic dam systems.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

In one aspect, a water fillable barrier has a tubular water fillable portion with a tongue projecting from one end. With this construction, the tongued end of the barrier may abut the tubular sidewall of a second such water fillable barrier with the tongue wrapped around the second barrier and affixed to the first barrier. This arrangement allows the effective construction of a corner in an hydraulic dam.

In another aspect, opposed ends of each of two end-to-end water fillable barriers may be overlapped within a sleeve. When the barriers are then filled with water, they foreshorten. This pulls the overlapping portions back in order to form a high pressure end-to-end abutment between the barriers.

Accordingly, there is provided a water fillable barrier, comprising: a water tillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall and a pair of opposed end walls; a flexible tongue extending along and outwardly from one end wall of said pair of opposed end walls.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided an hydraulic dam, comprising: a first water filled barrier comprising: a first barrier tubular water filled portion and a first barrier flexible tongue extending outwardly from one end wall of said first barrier tubular water filled portion; a second water filled barrier comprising: a second barrier tubular water filled portion; said one end wall of said first barrier tubular water filled portion abutting a sidewall of said second barrier tubular water filled portion; said first barrier tongue extending around said second barrier tubular water filled portion and terminating at a point along said first barrier tubular water filled portion; a first band surrounding said first barrier tubular water filled portion and said first barrier tongue in order to secure a fee end portion of said first barrier tongue.

According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of erecting an hydraulic dam, comprising: placing a first water fillable barrier comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall and a pair of opposed end walls and a flexible tongue extending along and outwardly from one end wall of said pair of opposed end walls; placing a second water fillable barrier comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall and a pair of opposed end walls such that said second barrier sidewall abuts said one end wall of said first barrier; filling said first water tillable barrier and said second water fillable barrier; wrapping said tongue around said second water fillable barrier and along an end portion of said first water fillable barrier; affixing a free end portion of said tongue to said first water fillable barrier.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of erecting an hydraulic dam, comprising: in respect of first and second water fillable barriers, each comprising a water fillable portion having an impermeable flexible membrane with a tubular sidewall: overlapping an end portion of said second of said water fillable barriers with an end portion of said first of said water fillable barriers within a sleeve surrounding said end portions; filling said first and second water fillable barriers to thereby cause said first and second water fillable barriers to foreshorten and form a high pressure end-to-end abutment between said first and second water fillable barriers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings which illustrate example embodiments of the invention,

FIGS. 1 a and 1 b are water fillable barriers made in accordance with this invention,

FIGS. 2 a and 2 b illustrate the barriers of FIGS. 1 a and 1 b, respectively, in a filled condition,

FIGS. 3 a and 3 b illustrates the forming of a hydraulic dam corner utilizing the water filled barriers of FIG. 2 b,

FIGS. 4 a and 4 b illustrate the forming of a join between end-to-end water fillable barriers;

FIG. 5 illustrates an hydraulic dam erected in accordance with an aspect of this invention; and

FIG. 6 illustrates another hydraulic dam in accordance with another aspect of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 a and 2 a, a water fillable barrier 10 has a tubular sidewall 14 and opposed end walls 16 and 18, formed by sealing the tubular sidewall closed at either end. A cap sealed flush mounted port 20 is provided to allow the barrier to be filled or emptied of water. The port may and cap may be threaded so that the cap may thread into the port and seal same. FIG. 1 a illustrates the barrier in an empty state and FIG. 2 a in a water filled state. The barrier 10 may be made of an impermeable flexible material. A suitable material is a linear low density polyethylene (LLDP) material such as POLYFLEX III™ produced by PolyFlex, Inc. of Grand Prairie, Tex. An advantage of an LLDP is that it has no plasticisers which rodents consider as a food. A further advantage is that the material is chemically resistant.

While a range of barrier dimensions may be suitable, exemplary dimensions for an empty barrier intended to form the base of a water barrier wall are 11′ (3.35 m) wide by 50′ (15.24 m) long. Such a barrier has a circumference of about 23′ (7 m) when filled. Suitable dimensions for an empty barrier which will be at the top of a water barrier wall (i.e., stacked on basal barriers) are 5.5′ (1.67 m) wide by 30′ (9.14 m) long. Such a barrier has a circumference of about 11.5′ (3.48 m) when filled.

Barrier 10 may have a visual mark 24 spaced a set distance from end 16 of the barrier for reasons described hereinafter.

FIGS. 1 b and 2 b illustrate a modified barrier 30, identical to barrier 10 except that a flexible tongue 32 extends outwardly from one end wall 36 of the barrier. Tongue 32 is integrally formed with the barrier and is made of the same material as the rest of the barrier. As is apparent from the figures, the tongue has a sheet-like configuration. The tongue has a length as long as, or longer than, the circumference of the barrier when filled with water. Indeed, a tongue 33′ (10.06 m) long would be suited to a basal barrier having the aforenoted example dimensions whereas a tongue 15′ (4.57 m) long would be suited to the example top barrier.

In order to form an hydraulic dam from water filled barriers 10, 30, it is necessary to join adjacent water barriers together. Water barriers 30 are designed to permit effective corner joins. Turning to FIG. 3 a, bands 40 a, 40 b may be placed on the ground. A first water barrier 30 a may then be placed on band 40 a with its tongue 32 a outstretched. A second water barrier 30 b may then be placed on the ground over band 40 b so that the tubular sidewall 14 b of the second barrier abuts the tongued endwall 36 a of the first barrier 30 a. The second barrier 30 b is also placed with its tongue outstretched and such that its end wall 36 b is substantially flush with the far edge 42 a of tubular sidewall 14 a of the first barrier. Next the barriers 30 a, 30 b may be filled with water. Then, tongue 32 a may be wrapped around the second barrier 30 b and over an end portion of the first barrier 30 a. Next, band 40 a may lash the free end portion of tongue 32 a to barrier 30 a, as illustrated in FIG. 3 b. Band 40 a is provided with a buckle 44 a for this purpose. With tongue 32 a in place, tongue 32 b may be wrapped over tongue 32 a and over an end portion of the second barrier 30 b. Utilizing buckle 44 b, band 40 b may then lash the free end portion of tongue 32 b to barrier 30 b, as illustrated in FIG. 3 b.

Alternatively, rather than folding the tongues over the barriers as shown in FIGS. 3 a and 3 b, the tongues may be folded under the barriers. This results in a small increase in labour when installing an hydraulic dam, but provides the advantage that the weight of a full barrier assists in keeping the lashed tongues in place. To achieve this result, after placement of the bands, the first barrier 30 a is placed on band 40 a with its tongue folded over the end of the barrier 30 a. The second barrier is then placed with its tongue outstretched and its tubular sidewall 14 b abuting the tongued end wall 36 a of the first barrier. Next the folded back tongue of the first barrier is laid over the second barrier and wrapped around and underneath the second barrier. The tongue of the second barrier is then wrapped underneath the first barrier tongue. The barriers may then be filled with water and the tongues lashed in place by the belts 40 a, 40 b.

In some situations, a sufficiently secure corner may be achieved only be using tongue 32 a. In such case, a barrier 10 could be substituted for barrier 30 b. Further, in such instances, it would be possible to form a corner anywhere along the second barrier rather than only at one end thereof.

In order to join barriers end-to-end, sleeves are used. Turning to FIG. 4 a, a tubular sleeve 50 may be fabricated of the same material as the barriers. These sleeves may have a length of 12′ (3.65 m) and a circumference to match that of the barriers. A sleeve 50 is slid onto each (tongueless) barrier 10 at a factory where the barriers are made. Additionally, as aforenoted, a visual mark 22 (FIG. 1 a) is made on each barrier 10 at a set distance from end 16 of the barrier 10. In the field, a first barrier 10 a is placed. Next, the end 18 b of a second barrier 10 b or 30 is placed over the end 16 a of the first barrier 10 a such that the end 18 b of the overlapping barrier is at the visual mark on the first barrier 10 a. The sleeve 50 is then slid along the first barrier 10 a so that the overlapping portion of the barriers is roughly in the middle of the sleeve, as seen in FIG. 4 a. Next, the barriers are filled with water. As they are filled, the barriers foreshorten. This causes the ends 16 a, 18 b of the opposed barriers to pull back from one another and results in a high pressure end-to-end abutment between said first and second barriers once they are full, as seen in FIG. 4 b. The amount of overlap of the empty barriers sufficient to obtain this result will vary dependent upon the construction of the barriers. Barriers having the aforenoted example dimensions with endwalls resulting from sealing the ends of the tubular sidewall of the barrier, will foreshorten about 6% when filled. Thus, a 50′ (15.24 m) long barrier will foreshorten about 3′ (0.9 m) when filled, with about one-half of the foreshortening occurring at each end of the barrier. In these circumstances, an overlap of about 3.3′ (1.0 m) prior to filling has been found to be satisfactory. Thus, the visual mark for such barriers is made 3.3′ (1.0 m) from end 16 of the barriers. If the barriers are not overlapped in the sleeves prior to filling, the end walls will take on an elliptical shape when full which would provide an area susceptible to leaking.

With a string of end-to-end barriers, the empty barriers should be overlapped in sequence. Thus, a first barrier, at one end of the string, is entirely on the ground, a second barrier overlaps the first barrier, a third barrier overlaps the second barrier, and so on. Such a string of barriers is filled in the opposite sense such that the barrier at the end of the string distant from the first barrier is filled first with the barriers being consecutively filled from that end and the first barrier being filled last. In this way, when a barrier is filled, its end 18 is over end 16 of an empty barrier and does not disturb the placement of end 16 of this empty barrier. In contrast, if the barriers were filled commencing with the first barrier, the end 16 of a barrier being filled would rise up and disturb the placement of the end 18 of the next adjacent empty barrier. This, in turn, could preclude the obtaining of the high pressure abutment between barriers once this next adjacent barrier is filled.

An hydraulic dam formed as a string of barriers may suffice for certain flood conditions. However, the strength of the dam, and its ability to prevent water getting through it, increases if several rows of barriers are placed side-by-side in a staggered configuration. This is illustrated in FIG. 5. Turning to FIG. 5, to build a multi-row hydraulic dam 58, ground sheets 60 may be placed. The ground sheets assist in avoiding punctures in the barriers due to matter on the ground. The ground sheets may be made of the same material as the barriers.

After placement of any ground sheets, a plurality of belts 40 may be placed. At least some of the belts may be joined to anchors 62 which are anchored into the ground along the outside (flood water facing) and inside edge of the dam. Next plural rows of empty barriers 10, 30 may be placed over the belts. For any given row, end-to-end barriers are placed and coupled as described in conjunction with FIGS. 4 a and 4 b. Similarly, for any given row, corner barriers 30 are placed as described in conjunction with FIGS. 3 a and 3 b. FIG. 5 shows three such rows 64 a, 64 b, 64 c of barriers. As will be apparent, a corner in a dam having more than one row of barriers naturally forces placement of the barriers in a staggered configuration. To facilitate wrapping of the tongues extending from the barriers of the inner rows 64 b, 64 c, the tongues may pass underneath the barrier which it will surround and be laid on top of any more outwardly placed barrier.

Next the flood barriers may be filled with water and the tongues 32 folded over and lashed by belts 40. In this regard, as seen in FIG. 5, each tongue of the outer row 64 a is lashed by a belt which surrounds only the barrier from which that tongue extends. Each tongue of the middle row 64 b is lashed by a belt which surrounds the barrier from which it extends and, as well, the adjacent barrier in the outer row. Each tongue in the inner row 64 c is lashed by a belt surrounding adjacent barriers in all three rows. All three rows 64 a, 64 b, 64 c of barriers are also lashed together at other points along the length of the row, also as seen in FIG. 5.

Most floods involve flood water levels less than 3′ (0.9 m). The exemplary basal barriers, when full, have a diameter of about 3′ (0.9 m). However, to achieve a proper weight ratio to contain a flood, a hydraulic dam should be at least about twice the height of the flood waters. This suggests a need to stack barriers. The aforedescribed barriers may be stacked as illustrated in FIG. 6. Turning to FIG. 6, three rows 64 a, 64 b, 64 c of basal barriers may be placed, joined, and filled as described in conjunction with FIG. 5. However, before their placement, additional long belts 140 may be placed with the other belts 40. After the base rows have been completed, belts 240 are placed on the bottom rows 64 a, 64 b, 64 c and empty barriers are placed on the base rows 64 a, 64 b, 64 c over these belts 240. These empty barriers are joined together and filled in the same manner as the base rows, but to form two rows 66 a, 66 b of barriers as shown in FIG. 6 b. The two rows 66 a, 66 b are then lashed together by bands 240. Lastly a single row 68 of top barriers may be placed atop rows 66 a, 66 b. Finally, the bottom rows 64 a, 64 b, 64 c, middle rows 66 a, 66 b, and top row 68 are lashed together by long belts 140. This then completes an hydraulic dam 70 having a pyramidal cross-sectional shape.

In addition to a (medially positioned) inlet port, the barriers 10, 30 may have outlet ports proximate either end.

Other modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art and, therefore, the invention is defined in the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7708495Nov 19, 2008May 4, 2010Chris AnteeLevee system
US7762742 *Mar 5, 2007Jul 27, 2010Smith Clarence EResidential flood control unit
US8287209 *Dec 11, 2008Oct 16, 2012Boris FeldmanProtective flood barrier system
US8840338 *Jan 31, 2012Sep 23, 2014Layfield Group Ltd.Fluid fillable structure
US20130108372 *Oct 30, 2012May 2, 2013Gary E. AbelesPortable water-inflatable barrier
US20130195556 *Jan 31, 2012Aug 1, 2013James Andrew MillsFluid fillable structure
WO2010126602A1 *Apr 30, 2010Nov 4, 2010Fb Systems, LlcImproved water absorbing and retention bag
Classifications
U.S. Classification405/115, 405/107
International ClassificationE02B3/10, E02B7/00, E02B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationE02B3/108, E02B3/127
European ClassificationE02B3/10B2, E02B3/12C6