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CHOOSING A SEDIMENT CURTAIN 

It has been Australian Boom and Baffles experience over 30 years of designing, manufacturing and installing sediment and turbidity curtains that application failure or ineffectiveness is usually a consequence of a number of factors the principle one being that the product has been underspecified usually to achieve project budget requirements or alternatively there has been a high performance specification with inadequate provision made in the project budget to achieve it. Over recent years there has been a growing focus on the environment to the extent where inadequate turbidity plume management can result in significant project delays, a greater focus on project environmental management resulting in more prescriptive requirements from regulators and in some cases prosecution for non-compliance all of these can have a significant impact on the overall profitability of a project for the contractor.

Whilst there are increased pressures on the contractor the latter has also to be realistic in the expectation of the effectiveness of the sediment curtain. It is Australian Boom and Baffle Co policy to advise a client if their expectation of effectiveness is unrealistic and if there is a need to reassess with the regulator the configuration of the specified systems.  On a number of occasions this has resulted in the development of systems which have been as effective a practically possible given the:

environmental conditions experienced at the deployment location including: currents, wind, waves and sea conditions
the type and nature of suspended solids generated
the most appropriate plume management objective ie limit visual pluming then slow velocity of subsurface plume such that suspended solids remaining drop out of the water column a short distance from the curtain

We have found that early assistance by Australian Boom and Baffle in project planning, system design and installation together with consultation with regulators has resulted in effective, durable and fit for purpose products being installed that have no delays to projects. 

Notwithstanding the above there have been recent occasions where we have designed and specified system which have not been chosen by the contractor on a cost basis only to have to be engaged at as later date to undertake remedial action following project shutdown due to installed systems failure.

To avoid the above it is of critical importance that as much information about a project be provided, including but not limited to the following:

prevailing environmental conditions including currents, tidal streams, wind, waves and sea conditions
extremes of the above and design parameters if the installation is to be effective in those conditions
water volumes to be impounded within the curtain and the tidal flow duration for both ebb and flood
bottom type for anchoring systems
durability considerations in relation to weather, wave, vessel impact and debris
proximity of shipping and special considerations for anchoring systems
the type and nature of suspended solids generated
the most appropriate plume management objective ie limit visual pluming then slow velocity of subsurface plume such that suspended solids remaining drop out of the water column a short distance from the curtain

 

 

ABBCo provides a comprehensive range of Environmental Control  products and services for marine construction to find out more go to:

 ABBCo Product & Services Overview 2012

 

To assist with selecting the most appropriate curtain for your application please download and review our:

Marine Curtain Handbook 2012 

For more information on the best curtain for your application please contact the

Australian Boom & Baffle Co

 
 
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