Inventor creates revolutionary
water control device!
Imagine the backbreaking work of hundreds of
people shoveling thousands of pounds of sand into sandbags and piling bag on top of bag to
create a giant flood barrier.
Then, imagine unrolling a plastic tube,
putting a garden hose inside, and sitting down to read a book while the hose fills the
tube, creating a water filled balloon-like structure that will act as a strong and immovable retaining wall.
It sounds too good to be true. Too simple,
a crazy idea.
If you drove over to Northrop
Avenue near Bell Street, you would have seen an example of what Woodside,
CA residents are
calling "water controlling water", an innovative flood
protection barrier that's designed
to work better than a wall of sandbags and is much easier to construct.
"When you think about it, why bring a
bag of sand to a flood site when you've got all the water in the world to use
and it will do
the same thing that the sand will do?" asked David Doolaege, the inventor
of AquaDams®, a United States patented retaining wall that is being used throughout the
country to protect properties from potential flood damage.
One of those AquaDams® now encircles Woodside, a
725-unit condominium development near Howe and Northrop Avenues. As many as 85 homes in
the upscale complex sustained flood damage last year, when water backed up from sloughs
that run through the development on the way to a pumping station that dumps into the
American River near CalExpo.
Woodside residents, many of whom were
frustrated by county officials' failure to improve the drainage system known as
Chicken Ranch Slough, voted to use the funds from the Woodside Homeowners Association to
rent the retaining wall for the winter.
"At $15,000 the cost seems
worth the peace of mind," said Bob Grace, area resident. "When you have
more than a million dollar loss from flooding in one year, $15,000 is kind
of an inexpensive fix."
David Doolaege got the idea for
AquaDams® while standing in a sandbag line. "This got me to thinking, 'What's a
better way'? Put some water in a balloon. But that would roll away. How can I get it to
sit there?" Doolaege thought of filling two balloon-like plastic sacks with water,
then encasing them in a tube. The water pressure inside the tubes and the sheer weight of
the water keeps the larger tube from rolling around.
"All sand represents is weight and
mass. The weight of water molecules are much easier to direct and place than sand
molecules. A pump takes care of the water. Somebody's back takes care of the sand to put
it into a neat little pile," said Doolaege. "One AquaDam® can replace a
thousand people working in a sandbag line," he states.
Doolaege tried out his idea in his bathtub,
but now he makes giant water balloons that work as rafts and water slides on the theory
that plastic captures water and gives it a solid mass. His latest device is a floating raft
that extends to the bottom of the lake and provides a plastic platform on the surface of
the water so children can run and jump from it.
"They play King Of The Mountain on
this thing and it's 99% water", he says. Doolaege, who describes himself as a
"Northern Californian", now has a web site on the Internet (www.waterstructures.com) and customers around
the world who are interested in protecting their property. "No, I'm not an engineer,"
says Doolaege. "And I'm not very smart either.
This is really simple logic."
by unknown author.