As you travel down the road, you may have passed by a body of water for instance, a lake or the sea, and happened to notice coloured devices that float on the water. Then you start wondering what those things are and why they are there. Well, what you saw was most probably a floating silt boom. It consists of a top flotation device including a type of water-tight PVC material.

What Silt Booms Do

The primary function of silt booms is to trap and contain sediment and silt which are considered as water contaminants. As you know, water resources are very precious. Hence, these important resources have to be protected at all times. Silt booms play a crucial role in their protection since these equipment prevent silt and sediment from contaminating parts of the waterway during a water construction project.

Oftentimes, you can see these floating containment barriers around such project operations as excavation, dredging, piling, likewise, when machinery is operating near the water. What’s important is that these devices are placed there to control the passage of silt and sediment into the water and sewer systems as well.

Silt booms come in many different common names – turbidity curtain, turbidity barrier, sediment curtain, silt barrier, silt curtain. So, don’t be confused with these synonymous terms as such containment barriers have been designed with a significant purpose – to keep water from being contaminated by trapping the contaminants like chemical pollutants, waste products, impurities, and so on.

The Basic Types of Silt Booms

As there’s a containment barrier for silt, there’s also one for oil. Most often, ordinary people use these terms interchangeably and yet, these are two different things. Thus, to show the difference, let’s talk about the basic types of turbidity barriers commonly referred to as Type I, Type II, and Type III.

Type I barriers are used in calm waters such as lakes, ponds, canals and road swales. These are considered as low-intensity environments wherein there’s very little impact of the waves and water current.

Type II turbidity curtains are used in areas having mild moving water conditions like that in streams, lakes, harbours, intercoastal waterways, etc.

Type III silt booms are best suited for the toughest water conditions like that in ocean waters and hence, are the strongest barriers ever made.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Right Silt Booms

If your company is planning to do a construction project near a body of water, there’s a wide range of various factors that you have to consider. These include first and foremost, the velocity of water in your targeted area and secondly, the frequency and height of the waves or tide.

It’s the speed and amount of the tides/waves that are the critical factors so that you can determine the best silt booms to use in your project. Other factors to take into consideration are the type of sediment found in the area as well as the time period of the project.

By Zigong