Several years ago, the El Dorado County Department of Transportation Bridge crew faced a problem. A footing on a bridge crossing Carson Creek, near El Dorado Hills, CA needed repair, but the creek was running and had to be diverted in order to complete the work. According to Gary Seaton, senior bridge maintenance worker, AquaDams® took many of the headaches out of this job.
"We used one 4' high by 8' wide by 50' long AquaDam® to dam off the creek upstream, and another one 3' high, 6' wide by 50' long downstream," Seaton explains. "We installed an AquaDam® over a conduit pipe, forcing the stream to flow only through it, which allowed us to dewater the work area and at the same time maintain a constant flow downstream."
The bridge crew used AquaDams® a second time on the South Fork of the American River, at Strawberry, CA, in December of 1998. That project entailed the repair of a footing on the Strawberry Bridge. The job required both a large and a small AquaDam®, used to divert the river's water through culvert pipes. The only unforeseen problem was constantly rising river water that washed the AquaDams® out on several occasions. Nonetheless, AquaDams® enabled the bridge crew to complete 90 percent of its work between washouts, says Seaton.
Before learning about AquaDams®, the bridge crew used sandbags for water containment. "AquaDams® work so much easier and so much nicer," Seaton remarks. Unlike sandbags, says Seaton, AquaDams® do not require hours of intensive labor to install, and fewer hours to maintain. "There's very little time spent once you get an AquaDam® into place," he says. "You have to make sure that it is large enough to hold the required amount of water back, but other than that it requires very few man hours."
"Let's say there's a nice, smooth run with an AquaDam®. You can have it in the water in, say, an hour, and have everything under control." When a job is completed, Seaton explains, the crew simply deflates the AquaDams®, rolls them up and stores them in a warehouse.
"Better than anything we've ever used," is how Seaton describes AquaDams®. "They're the best thing since the wheel when it comes to water containment. Once you get them into place you don't have to deal with em. You just have to make sure that you maintain the water pressure in em. If you take a normal stream, where you have normal flow, once you've got them in you just go about your business. There's not a lot of time spent maintaining them while you're working. They're terrific!"