Floating Turbidity Barrier Installation – Understanding the Process

 In Industry Articles, Turbidity Barriers

The purpose of a floating turbidity barrier is to prevent the migration of sediment from a worksite into nearby waterways. Offering a wide range of benefits, they are commonly used during dredging, pile driving, remediation, and shoreline restoration. However, they are only effective if assembled, deployed, and anchored correctly. Having a thorough understanding of the process can help ensure your next project runs smoothly. 

Scouting a Location

First, you need to find a spot along the coastline with enough area to lay down two sections of the floating turbidity barrier. Inspect the area for anything sharp or rough material that could puncture or scratch the lining. There are certain situations where there is no option but to lay out the barrier on abrasive surfaces like asphalt or concrete. If this is the case, heavy tarps should be put down before beginning the installation of the barrier.

sediment control products

Unpacking Pallets

Now that you’ve selected an area, unpack the floating turbidity barrier. The barriers are typically shipped on pallets and wrapped in plastic. Inspect the shipment for obvious damage before carefully removing the plastic wrap and rope holding the curtain in place. Rushed and reckless removal of the plastic and tie-downs could result in a damaged turbidity barrier.

Turbidity barriers are usually folded and stacked in a way that resembles an accordion. Unfold the curtain and place it over the previously-selected location. Unfold each section end-to-end with the previous section. Remove the furling lines at the ends and stretch out the skirt top before connecting each end by laced grommets or chain. 

Securing Connections

Some variations of the floating turbidity barrier are connected and locked into place via slide connectors. For these barriers, referred to as Type 2 and Type 3 barriers, slide the connectors together and insert toggle pins into the lock pin holes of the barrier. 

Once the grommet or slide connections are secure, connect shackles to the stress plates located on the bottom of each curtain section. After connections are secure, the skirt must be folded up underneath the floating elements of the floating turbidity barrier. The furling lines that were previously removed must then be tied back around the float and skirts. Bundle the sections along the coast until every section is tethered together. 

Deploying & Anchoring The Floating Turbidity Barrier

Each section underneath the floating elements should be folded and secured while a trained professional tows the floating turbidity barrier out into the water. Once you’ve reached your final destination, it’s time to anchor.

Each application of floating turbidity barriers must have a well-structured anchoring strategy that takes wind, waves, current, and other external factors into account. Engineers use complex analysis software to determine the best plan of attack. The right type of anchor for the job is included in this complex analysis. Some anchors fare better when the waterway’s floor is rocky while others excel in loose soil. Others require the waterway’s floor to consist of solid silt, mud, or sand. 

floating silt screen

When the waterway has a current, anchors must be deployed before moving the floating turbidity barrier to its final destination. When conditions are calm, you can set the anchors after you get into position. At the end of each barrier section, there are anchor points at the connection point and the center of each section of the barrier. Once anchors are tied, cut the ties holding the skirt and allow it to fall. Depending on the current, adjustments may need to be made afterward.

Industry-Standard Floating Turbidity Barrier

There are experts in the field ready to help with all your sediment control needs. IWT Cargo-Guard has been at the forefront in the evolution of turbidity barriers and silt curtains.   We are a design innovator of durable turbidity barriers and silt curtains that can withstand even the harshest conditions.

Founded with the purpose of developing products to protect our environment, IWT Cargo-Guard’s mission is to provide the most cost-effective products for your project. By quickly analyzing the products and services required for the project, we become an extension of your estimating department.

We carry all types of turbidity barriers as well as containment booms, marine accessories, and more. Contact us and our team will work with you to ensure you have exactly what you need to keep your project in compliance and on track.

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