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.