A cofferdam (also coffer dam) is a temporary enclosure in or around a body of water that is constructed to allow dewatering, diversion or damming of an enclosed area. The primary purpose of a cofferdam is to create a dry environment for a project to proceed. They were first used in 1736.
(A Dam-It Dams Cofferdam creating a water barrier)
Today’s cofferdams are typically conventional embankment dams of both earth- and rock-fill, although concrete or some sheet piling also may be used.
There is a company headquartered in Michigan – Dam-It Dams, Inc. – whose cofferdams use on-site water to fill dual inner tubes that cause the dam’s chambers to slowly and evenly inflate, forming a strong, stable cylindrical tube. As the inner tubes continue to fill and the water pressure builds, the dam unrolls in a controlled manner to create the cofferdam.
(A Dam-It Dams Cofferdam unrolling as it fills with water)
There are as many water-control applications for cofferdams as there are types of cofferdams. Dam-It Dams’ patented, portable, water-filled Cofferdams offer effective and cost-efficient solutions for these major types of situations that are called the 3-Ds of water control:
Dewatering, unwatering and water control are common terms used to describe the removal or drainage of ground or surface water, typically on a construction site. Dewatering is often required before subsurface excavation for such things as foundations, shoring, cellar space and repairs to existing water structures.
Diversion is the temporary (or sometimes permanent) re-routing of water. It may be required to initiate a project and/or allow a project to proceed.
Damming is the process of creating a barrier that holds back water. The barrier may be needed to maintain water table levels, collect water for storage and prevent water from crossing established/safety thresholds.
Because Dam-It Dams’ Cofferdams work with Mother Nature, not against her, they create effective water barriers that leave no – or only a minimal – footprint on the environment. And, their Cofferdams are industrial strength and reusable to minimize additional investment costs.