Energy-Saving PVC Water Barriers Protect Against Floods, Fires and Hazmat Spills
VICTORIAVILLE, Quebec, June 26, 2007 – Tough, portable, reusable PVC water barriers have become a valuable new tool in fighting emergencies ranging from floods to hazmat spills to forest fires.
The energy-saving WaterGate™ barrier, produced by Quebec-based MegaSecur, puts the water itself to work: The weight of the water as it flows into the barrier automatically deploys and anchors it. No pumps are needed. The largest of the barriers can retain water up to a height of 18 feet.
In Quebec province, when a forest fire breaks out far from a lake or river, the firefighters unroll a PVC WaterGate barrier across a stream. Gerard Lacasse, spokesperson for Quebec’s forest fire agency, explained that the blocked stream creates a temporary lake, which provides enough water to operate two pumps. These supply water for two or three firefighting teams. When the job is done, the water returns to the stream and the emptied barrier is simply folded up and put back on the truck.
Municipalities such as Huntsville, Texas, use WaterGate barriers for routine maintenance where they have to temporarily divert water from streams or culverts. The City of Arlington, Texas, stocks a WaterGate barrier in event of sewage spills. Spokesperson Stanley Nobles explained that the barrier would contain the spill and then the sewage could be pumped back into the system.
A major use is during floods, when the barrier can replace thousands of sandbags. The woven PVC material is tough, durable, resistant to chemicals, and able to withstand harsh conditions, including temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees, according to MegaSecur. The WaterGate barrier has won several international awards for new inventions, including a Gold Medal from the Industrial Designers Society of America.