Monday, December 11, 2017

Flood Prevention: It’s in the Bag

In the coming weeks, the threat of floods will once again come to the forefront of our collective minds.

Any Calgarian around last year will never forget the great flood of 2013, the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history. Most of us have experienced flooding in one way or another: Flooding can be one of the most devastating forces of nature. Sandbags are the most common method of damming off property that is in the path of an imminent flood. Is there a better way to protect yourself and your property?

flood prevention

Sandbags can be purchased empty or full, depending on your needs. A typical filled sandbag will weigh between 40 and 60 lbs and have a foot print of approximately 2 feet by 1 foot, maybe 4 inches high. They are one of the most labour intensive packaging materials around. From filling, to hauling, to placing them where they are needed, it is back-breaking work. On top of that, placing them in position when time is fading away can be extremely daunting, how many more do we have to stack?

The big solution to the small sandbag dam.

One solution MiniBulk can provide is our 1850 kg stock bag, the 215E. We carry this design in our warehouses and it is very popular with people working in the sand, aggregate and silica industries. In fact, we have sold many of them to construction firms to build temporary coffer dams. When a construction zone goes through a wetland, coffer dams are built to keep the water and aquatic life on the other side of the project. Once the construction is complete, the bags are removed and the water flows back to where it was originally, frogs and ducks intact.

Our 1850 kg bag (4,070 lbs) has a foot print of at least 3 feet by 3 feet, and a height of almost 4 feet. Imagine how much time and effort you could save by having a supply of these bags ready to go when the risk of flooding is high? Building one huge solid wall of sand, 400 regular sized sandbags at a time is an excellent way to ensure your property stays high and dry in the event of a flood.

However, it should be noted that heavy duty bulk bags on their own can’t completely stop water as there will be small gaps between the blocks. Combining a wall of bags with a water-proof membrane, or filling in the small spaces with a handful of sandbags is ideal.

Staying dry by the numbers.

Enough of the anecdotal evidence, let’s crunch some numbers. One pallet of our 215E design has 135 bags on it. Each bag is rated to carry over 4,000 lbs. Doing the math, you can see that if you filled all the bags, you would have a total of 549,450 lbs of water stopping force on your side. The only problem you might have with our bags is finding enough material to fill them all!

If we do some more math, we can see just how much area a single pallet of these heavy-duty bags can cover as well. Based on a 3′ x 3′ foot print, you could stretch a wall of these filled bags, side by side to a distance of 405 feet! If you double stacked them, you would have a wall of bags over 200 feet long and almost 8 feet high. How long would it take you to move 135 bags into that position to build your flood protection wall? How many sandbags would you have to buy, haul and fill to make a comparable flood protection wall? I am not touching that math, my calculator will not go that high.

You know us as the supplier who handles everything from Alfalfa to Zinc. However, there are many other uses for these wonderfully woven marvels of engineering. Flood protection is just one additional application our products can be used for.

If you have a property that needs to be protected from frequent or seasonal flooding, contact a MiniBulk Expert today. We can show you exactly how much time, money and energy you can save when you are trying to save what matters most.

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