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Silt Barrier



Our Silt Barrier is used to protect waterways from turbidity and sediment from construction sites. This type 1 DOT turbidity curtain is used at construction sites that are trying to prevent debris mixing into various bodies of water such as canals, small ponds, and small lakes.

The Silt Barrier is available in various depths and typically ships in 50' lengths. The barrier is made of a PVC coated polyester and is treated with an anti-mildew coating. This product in made in America.

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  • This is the most frequently specified barrier in the TOUGH GUY® barrier line. It is recommended for construction sites located in protected areas that are exposed only to light winds and to current velocities of less than one foot per second.
  • This type of site may include ponds, shallow lakes, small streams and marshes.
  • Anchorage consisting of stakes or concrete blocks may be required to maintain the barrier in its required position. Barrier sections are connected by rope lacing or nylon ties and supplied separately.

Why Buy Turbidity Curtains from Paramount Materials?

  • We only sell the Tough Guy brand commercial-grade curtains which are made in the USA. Widely regarded as the “go to brand” for quality and strict adherence to stated specifications.
  • We do not sell "no-name" or "off-brand" curtains. These economy curtains often claim to meet spec but due to oversees manufacturing variances sometimes do not, leaving the installer exposed to potential fines and project delays.
  • When you call, we answer. When you call Paramount Materials you get a live person quickly, ready to help with product or order questions. (M-F 5:00 am - 3:00 pm Pacific Time)

Tough Guy® Floating Turbidity Barrier Type 1.DOT

Specifications (ST: 10/08)

Fabric - 18 oz. nominal laminated vinyl/polyester having the following characteristics:

Construction - vinyl laminate on 9X9 1000 x 1300 denier polyester scrim Weight – 18.5 oz. per sq. yd. (434 gr./sq. m.)

Adhesion – 24 x 20 lb./2”

Grab Tensile – 410 x 410 lb./in. (430 x 421 daN/5cm.)

Tongue Tear – 100 x 100 lb. (95 x 95 daN)

Hydrostatic - 600 psi (4167 kPa) Cold resistance to crack: -40° F/C

All seams heat sealed

5/8 inch diameter poly rope reinforced vertical edges

#4 brass grommets

1/4 in. galvanized chain ballast

EPS flotation, 6 in. x 6 in., 13.5 lb./ft. buoyancy in fresh water and 14.4 lb./ft buoyancy in saltwater.

Looking for a Custom Depth Or Length Barrier?

Custom sizes are available on orders of 5+ barriers. Request Quote >

Type 1 Turbidity Curtains

Type 1 Turbidity Curtains

Type 2 Turbidity Curtains

Type 2 Turbidity Curtains

Type 3 Turbidity Curtains

Type 3 Turbidity Curtains

Silt Barrier along jobsite

Installing a Turbidity Barrier

The Benefits Of Silt Barriers/Curtains For Your Site Operations

Silt curtains can be used to avoid water turbidity during various site operations including excavation, dredging, piling, and construction on or near the shoreline.  Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of water by large amounts of particles that are usually invisible to the naked eye. Measuring turbidity is key to water clarity and quality. Geotextile floating booms serve as physical barriers to redirect disturbed silt sediment to the sea floor where it will settle instead of traveling up or down the stream and land in areas where silt will cause many issues to the aquatic ecosystem. You might wonder how these curtains or barriers work, how you install them, and what it will cost.

Murky waters is simply a term for water that is loaded with sediment and far from being clear. If you or your business has caused murky waters, you are probably in breach of your environmental management and responsibilities by causing issues for the company both legally and socially. Your company should go out of its way to reduce any negative consequences on shoreline projects and construction applications 24/7.

H3 Heading with Text Below

You should have environmental protection equipment that will provide efficient and cost-effective ways to curtail accidental silt pollution of the waterways. Silt curtains are on the frontline to keep the waters clean and clear and keep businesses protected.

Back to the questions we have been asked many times over:

• What does a silt curtain do?
• Are they hard to install?
• How much will it cost to install them?

In the following, we will try to answer your questions and help you understand why these curtains or barriers are used and who uses them.

What is a Silt Curtain?

A silt curtain is often referred to as a floating silt curtain, a floating silt barrier, a silt boom, or a turbidity curtain. All are types of a silt screen which is a key piece of environmental protection equipment that decreases physical water pollution by applying sediment control.

Construction, excavation, and other project activities especially near a shoreline will drench the bordering waterways with sediment. It's critical to stop the movement of silt through the water column spread and let it settle in a controlled way.

The containment barrier is offered by a curtain to ensure sediment settles as close to the area it was unsettled in. In other words, it decreases the movement of sediment to an area where it was not before.

As an operator, your job is to reduce the movement of particles caused by your operations into areas where it was not present before. You do not need a cloud of silt making its way from your site to a nearby area that is sensitive to your activities such as sea grasses, marine life habitats, or other habitats for aquatic life.

The curtain is a semi-permeable barrier that is partially floating and partially submerged. I will prevent the soil particles from spreading in the water column and bolsters their settling within the curtain barrier. It prevents an increase in water particles and an endless barrage of negative environmental impacts.

Silt Barrier Protecting Waterway

Silt Barrier At Jobsite On Waterway

How Silt Curtains Are Installed

Installing the curtain can greatly vary from one site to another. Each installation should be unique and therefore requires a degree of customization. In general, experts will plan each installation depending on various factors including the terrain conditions, access, and the properties of the curtain compared to that of tidal movements, actual flow, and submarine topography or depths and shapes of an underwater terrain.

1-Unpacking the Curtain

The silt curtain will come pre-packed in bundles. The bundles or curtain sections should be aligned on the site's shoreline and placed close by each other to make attaching from one to another easy. The space should be just enough to lay out at least two sections of the curtain completely. Be sure the area is free of any sharp objects and abrasive surfaces to prevent any potential damage to the geotextile. Once everything is in place, the vinyl bundle straps that are near the end connectors should be cut or untied so the skirt and float attachment can be easily finished.

2-The Assembly

The assembly requires joining the sections of the curtain together. At the end of each curtain segment, some kinds of curtains are labeled 1,2, or 3 and have aluminum section connections or slide connectors. Joining the connectors is easy just slide them together and lock them in place by inserting toggle pins, or the hardware that is provided with the product, into the aligned pre-holes. Depending on the conditions, you can join up to 100m on the shoreline.

At each end of the curtain's skirt, there are slider connectors and multiple lengths can be put together to create the overall consecutive requirement for the project. If the project requires more than 100m of silt curtains we advise running the first 100m out into the water to decrease the drag resistance before adding more sections.  After the slide connectors are fit properly, use the marine. zipper tag. Fully zip up the skirt, and shackle the ballast chains so the full depth of the skirt is attached to each other at the connection point. It's imperative to only untie or unfold the sections at this point near the connections. It's easier to maneuver the floating silt curtain on the water with the ties done up once again creating less drag and resistance when in place on the water.

Silt Barrier Used on Freeway Project

Silt Barrier used to protect landscape

Preparing To Set It Up On The Water

To start, you need to fold the curtain and pack it up. The skirt should be folded underneath the floating element. Then tie the straps around both the skirt and the floats.

To finish up assembling the curtain, the two curtain sections can be wrapped at the water edge or floated in a staging pattern until all sections are connected and the entire length is in order.

For Distribution

To distribute the curtain, tow it into position and secure it to the anchors. Before you unfold the curtain, the skirt must be folded and secured under the floats until anchoring is completed. You can check the layout and anchor before unfolding the skirt. Once attached you should check out the layout and be sure you are happy with the location before unfolding.

A better option might be to have the shoreline temporarily covered in geotextile or tarp to prevent any damage to the barrier while dragging it over to the water.  We prefer to perform the assembly as close to the water's edge as possible. You must reduce drag and the load placed on the curtain.

Correct Anchoring Is Critical

Anchoring the curtain during installation is critical to the entire system's stability and efficiency. You must carefully plan and calculate before the installation, especially if the water of the site is affected by currents, tides, or strong winds. Environmental conditions will dictate anchoring and placement. The best choice for an anchor will depend on the kind of seafloor you are dealing with at the time.

If you are dealing with small curtains in conditions that are not demanding, anchoring could be as easy as securing the curtain between two stakes on opposing shorelines.  On the other hand, dealing with large, long curtains can be somewhat tricky and the process is a great deal more complex. In situations of flowing water, the curtain should be parallel to the water flow as closely as possible. In situations where you are dealing with tides and other marine conditions, the curtain can face pressure from either side so the best practice is to anchor it from both sides. In some cases, when dealing with strong tides, you should offer double anchoring on the corners.

The common steps for anchoring, you should drop the anchor making sure the marker buoys fit into position using the calculated layout prior to connecting them to the silt curtain. Afterward, attach the anchored buoy to the curtain using the tether line. The line is then connected to anchoring points or section connectors along the curtain.

As you can see, general curtain installation is best performed by experienced users or experienced marine operators who understand flow dynamics.

The Cost Of a Curtain Installation

As you are probably interested in the installation cost, field conditions will determine the costs of the installation including the type of curtain, the components, and the materials.

The following factors will affect the curtain's cost:

• The overall length and depth of the curtain.
• Any customized technical properties of the curtain and other equipment.
• The climate and environment at the site.
• The costs of going to and from the site.
• The overall time and hours required.

More detailed information includes:

Silt curtains that are designed for short-term distribution or calm waters with low exposure to unfavorable conditions will be much easier and more affordable. The bottom line, you would not want to install that kind of curtain in unruly waters with a significant tidal effect, strong winds, or other difficult weather situations as it just won't last and can easily break apart.  The last thing you want to encounter is having to install the curtain twice or have it break free from its anchor and move away. That said, there are different kinds of curtains that have different characteristics and load pressure ratings.

Silt curtain in River

Silt Curtain used to protect river