Turbidity Curtain Frequently Asked Questions
Turbidity curtains control and contain the sediment-filled water creates. To help get the information you need about turbidity curtains, please review these frequently asked questions about turbidity curtain to learn more about their uses, applications, and installation. For product specific information, please see: Turbidity Curtain Options.
Q: What is the Difference Between Turbidity Barrier and Turbidity Curtain?
Turbidity curtains are known by many names, including: turbidity barriers, silt barriers, silt curtain, sediment filter barrier, floating silt fence, and floating sediment fence.
Q: Which do I Need? A Floating Boom or a Turbidity Curtain?
Boom are used to contain substances (oil, trash, seaweed, logs, or other debris) floating on the surface of the water. On the other hand, turbidity curtains are used to contain both floating debris and for sediment control when it is suspended beneath the surface of the water.
Q: How Do I Install a Turbidity Barrier?
Turbidity curtain installation will involve connecting, deploying and anchoring a turbidity curtain in a specific location. Because each project has its own unique needs, the installation plan may need to be adjusted for specific variables like construction site environment, available equipment, and operator experience. See our Turbidity Curtain Installation Guide for more information.
Q: What Is A Floating Baffle? Is It Different Than A Turbidity Curtain?
Water baffles are similar to silt curtains, but with a different purpose. They are designed and installed to create channels in bodies of water (like lagoons, tanks, clearwells, reservoirs, irrigation ponds, and waste water treatment plants) that affect the rate and direction that water flows through a controlled area. Slowing the rate of flow allows greater time for the suspended sediment particles to settle.
Q: What Sizes Do Turbidity Barriers Come In?
Turbidity curtains are available in either 50 or 100 foot long sections (horizontal). The sections are designed to interlock, so that you can connect them to form the length of barrier that your project needs.
Q: How Do I Know Which Type Of Turbidity Curtain I Need?
This will be determined by several key factors, including water depth, current, waves and wind. Please contact us for assistance.
Q: Should the Turbidity Curtain Touch the Floor of the Containment Area?
No. The best management practice is for the turbidity curtain to allow a clearance of 1 foot between the water body's floor and the bottom of the curtain. This keeps the curtain from dragging on the bottom, causing additional turbidity in the water, instead of strong sediment control. If the curtain rests on the bottom, the sediment will also pile up against the curtain (pulling it down), impairing the floating and functioning of the curtain and limiting sediment control. Lastly, the clearance at the bottom also allows aquatic animals a way to exit the controlled area.
Q: What if the Containment Area Has Uneven Depths?
It is not unusual for the water depth to vary across a project area. For the best performance of your turbidity curtain, it will need to rest no closer than 1 foot of the water's floor.
There are a couple of ways to address this: Option 1) Barrier comes in measured segments. You can request a different skirt depth for each segment. Note: This can significantly increase the time required for installing the barrier, as the segments would need to be attached in the right order for placement.
Instead, we suggest:Option 2) Adding Turbidity Curtain Reefing Lines (also known as furling lines) to your turbidity curtain. This allows you to easily raise or lower the depth of each turbidity curtain segment from a boat.
Q: Is There a Best Practice for Installing Anchors and Buoys with Turbidity Curtain?
Yes. There are a couple of common errors that beginning curtain installers make. Sometimes users will anchor the curtain directly to the ocean/lake/river floor, or attach the anchor directly to the turbidity curtain. These methods are not correct. Both of these options significantly impair the curtain's performance and create excessive load and strain on your curtain. This can damage your curtain and impair your site's sediment control. Ask us for information on how to anchor your turbidity curtain the right way for project success.
Q: Can I Use Fewer Anchors For Anchoring?
Simply put, without proper anchoring your project will fail. Anchoring keeps your curtain in proper position and accounts for reasonable fluctuations due to weather. The impact of not using enough anchors (or placing them incorrectly) is significant: 1) The curtain will not stay in position causing the turbid water to bypass the curtain. 2) Insufficient anchoring places additional strain on the curtain itself. This frequently causes unnecessary damage to the curtain, shortening its use-life. 3) Picture a parachute in the water. With enough current, a poorly anchored curtain system will take flight and can lead to serious liability issues. See Barrier and Boom Accessories.
Q: How Many Anchors Do Floating Silt Curtains Need?
It depends on the current, depth, and environment of your project. We can help. Our representatives use several key factors to determine both the number and placement of the anchors for minimizing the load placed on your curtain. We can't state it strongly enough, proper anchoring is crucial to your project's success and to protecting your investment in turbidity curtain. When your aim is sediment control in the water, having the right anchoring is key.
Q: Do I Need Lights for My Floating Silt Barrier?
You will want to check your local regulations for lighting requirements of floating barriers on public waterways. With boater safety in mind, it is common to have night-time lighting requirements for barriers in public waters. This also helps protect your curtain or barrier.
Q: What is a Tow Bridle and Why is it Important?
A tow bridle is used when hauling the curtain or barrier out into a body of water for installation, or when relocating the barrier. A tow bridle alleviates the stress that towing can place upon the curtain fabric. It helps deliver your curtain or barrier safely and damage-free to its in-water destination for installation. It can also be used to anchor the curtain to the shore, in appropriate applications.
Q: Do Your Turbidity Curtains Meet Canadian Regulations for Erosion Control?
We take great pride in the success of our products and the real world results they produce. We can absolutely help you find the right product to satisfy your local regulations. When you contact us, please provide any specifications you have regarding the related regulations.