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Turbidity Curtains & Barriers


Turbidity curtain to contain siltFloating & Staked Turbidity Barriers

Turbidity curtains are created to prevent the flow of stormwater runoff loaded with sediment from construction sites. These barriers will keep this runoff contained in a specific and limited area allowing the sediment to settle out before being carried into waterways. These turbidity barriers are available in two different styles either staked or floating.

Floating turbidity curtains are also known as Floating Turbidity Silt Curtains. This barrier consists of a flotation boom on the top and an impenetrable fabric curtain that extends down under the water. There is a heavy galvanized steel chain that is sealed into the hem that runs along the entire bottom of the curtain. This keeps the curtain vertical in the water. The ends of them are sealed around a rope and grommeted to allow for the attachments.


There Are 3 Types Of Floating Turbidity Barriers:

First DOT Floating Turbidity Barriers:

This is the most popular barrier in the Tough Guy ® line. This kind of barrier is recommended for sites that are located in protected areas that are only exposed to light winds and currents that run less than one foot per second. These water elements may be ponds, small streams, shallow lakes, or marshes.

In order to maintain the barrier's position will require anchoring with stakes, concrete blocks or an anchor kit. Sections of the barrier are connected by rope lacing or nylon ties that are offered by L & M Supply.


Second DOT Floating Turbidity Barriers:

In the Tough Guy ® line, this is the workhorse of the group. This barrier has a top load cable and special stress plates for reinforcing the corners and is specifically designed to handle severe conditions. This kind of barrier is highly recommended for areas that have currents that run up to five feet per second. These elements are found in lakes, streams, inter-coastal, and tides.

It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified engineer for assistance when facing these conditions because the anchorage and installation must be designed exactly to meet these situations The barrier sections are connected with rope lacing or nylon ties that are offered by L & M Supply.


Third DOT Floating Turbidity Barriers:

This barrier provides approximately 20% of the skirt fabric being replaced with a polypropylene filter fabric that conforms to some State DOT Specifications. The filter fabric is in place to reduce pressure on the curtain while it retains silt. The filter fabric is woven tightly to retain the silt but not so much that it will reduce pressure on the curtain.

If this fabric is not woven tightly enough, it will not be able to hold most silt and sediment particles. Also, the fabric cannot be heat sealed causing a reduction in the curtain's strength and longevity.


Image of a turbidity barrierInstallation Of Barriers:

Installation and anchoring must be designed to meet the site's condition. Floating Turbidity Barriers that are being installed in moving water, tidal conditions and windy areas must be anchored in place.

All 3 - First, Second and Third Meet Or Exceed All Known Federal And State Governmental Specifications, Including NPDES Phase II Requirements.


Barrier Sizes:

The standard length is 50-feet with depths of 3-feet, 4-feet, or 10-feet. Custom lengths can be created up to 100-feet with depths of 2-feet to 100-feet which can be manufactured and shipped quickly.

Custom colors and accessories are also available such as the Lighted Navigation Buoys and Anchor Kits.


Anchor Kits:

Tough Guy® Anchor Kits come with everything that is required to anchor the floating turbidity barriers. You will get an anchor, chain, rope, thimbles, anchor buoy, and shackles. You do not have to assemble anything because they are pre-assembled in the factory.

Floating turbidity barriers that are installed in moving water, tide areas and/or windy conditions must be anchored in order to stay in place. Having an anchoring system that is assembled in the factory will make the entire installation process much easier.


Anchor Kits:

• Anchor Kit A has an 18 lb anchor plus a 50-foot rope or longer if required.
• Anchor Kit B has a 25 lb anchor plus a 50-foot rope or longer if required.

Both these kits are very easy to install. Just snap onto the cable loop at the joint of the barrier's top load line. Re-position, position, and/or remove using the Retrieval or Positioning Buoy.

All DOT barriers should meet certain state specifications but check your state's requirements first.


The Staked Turbidity Barriers:

These barriers are uninterrupted panels of impenetrable fabric made of vinyl-polyester that can stop stormwater runoff or can re-direct it to an area for holding. When installed on land, these barriers are similar to silt fences. They should be 8 inches below the grade and 36 inches above the grade and attached to stakes. These barriers can be installed in as much as 18 inches of water.

The curtain is approximately 44 inches wide and has a heat-sealed hem along the top edge. There should be an 8-inch trench along the perimeter line and then stakes are driven every 6-feet along the downside of the slope.

The upper area of the barrier is attached to the stakes using staples, nylon ties, or wire. The top of the barrier must be 36 inches above the grade. The bottom edge of the curtain must be placed in the trench which is then backfilled.

This barrier system works best with porous soil that is on a moderately sloping site. The stakes can be made of wood or metal but must be purchased separately.

The standard color of the staked barriers are Yellow. For additional information please see AER-FLO, the manufacturer of the Tough Guy turbidity curtains.