SafeSite Facilities advises when it’s best to use Water Filled Barriers
There are lots of barrier security and safety solutions out there, many of which appear good to go for either short or longer term deployment. But which situations make water filled barriers the best-fit solution?
With their hollow Polyethylene plastic design, the basic water filled barrier is lightweight when empty but achieves good stability when filled with water. The UV protected Polyethylene construction makes these barriers highly durable and resistant to splitting or cracking in extreme weather conditions
Particularly in comparison to concrete and MASS barriers, water filled barriers often prove to be a cost-effective security and safety solution as they can be reused throughout an extremely long lifespan across different projects, situations and locations. This robust reusability means that when the cost of a complete system is broken down into cost per use, the system is not only affordable, but also extremely good value for money.
Available in a good range of sizes, for example high or low, and being easy to transport and set up, water filled barriers are ideal for many different long and short term uses. But whilst concrete and MASS barrier systems are also fit for particular purposes, one of the primary benefits of water filled barriers for temporary situations, is that they are less likely to cause damage in the case of impact from site workers, motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, so can prove to be a safer option than concrete.
Main features of water filled barriers
As well as their robust construction, water filled barriers incorporate additional design features which make them suitable for quick and easy deployment and high quality performance and efficiency:
● Water filling for stability makes these barriers relatively lightweight when empty, not only for transporting and handling, but also when stacking when not in use. Water filling means these barriers can provide good stability and the additional convenience of being filled in situ as required.
● Swift transport and installation which can easily be carried out by a two-man team is afforded by the light weight of empty barriers and is ideal when temporary barriers are needed quickly. Deploying water filled barriers allows for fast response in emergency situations, as well as effective security on a temporary basis.
● High visibility colours are particularly important for temporary barriers, which often present an ‘unexpected’ element for drivers and pedestrians, for example when used to delineate diversions and temporary closures. With their range of high visibility colourways, water filled barriers are clearly evident from a good distance, to enhance safety in awareness, as well as access.
● Versatile, additional fencing options are available as many water filled barrier designs offer additional fencing attachments, to meet the requirements of all types of sites and situations, including roadsides and construction sites.
● Interlocking design makes it easy for barrier runs and full perimeter boundaries to be created to meet many types of deployment and delineation requirements. Water filled barriers can be interlocked to create curves to the left and right as well as straight lines, with full connectivity which reduces the chances of accidental or deliberate adjustment of the barriers by vehicles or vandals. Although robust and offering good stability once installed and filled, water-filled barrier runs can easily be added to as work progresses or when additional temporary barrier runs are needed.
Fit for purpose
As such, water filled barriers offer the ideal solution for many temporary security situations, but are considered specifically fit for the following purposes:
● Traffic – from temporary traffic lanes for channelling traffic, to separating traffic from pedestrian zones or designating parking areas, the plastic construction of water-filled barriers means they present a reduced risk of damage to vehicles, making them the ideal alternative to concrete barriers for use in the short or longer term.
Water filled barriers can also prove far more effective than using cones for traffic control, as the interlocking design means there are no gaps and, once filled, water filled barriers cannot be easily accidentally or deliberately moved or misaligned if struck by a vehicle.
● Crowd control at special events, such as sporting, concerts and festivals – with excellent stability, high visibility and plastic construction, water filled barriers offer a safe but stable barrier system for public areas.
● Closing sections of roads or walkways to prevent access – the quick deployment facilitated by water filled barriers makes them ideal for quickly closing vehicular and pedestrian access routes in emergencies.
● Construction sites – the reusable, redeployable benefits of water filled barriers makes them ideal for redeployment as work progresses or to create temporary work zones, such as a building refurbishment. The durable construction and long life span of these barriers also makes them a cost-effective barrier system for use in the construction industry.
Overall, with their great design benefits and versatility in a range of safety and security deployment situations, water filled barriers can offer a proven fit-for-purpose and cost-effective temporary barrier system. Whilst MASS and concrete barrier systems are ideal for longer term installation, water filled barriers can be more efficient for short term use and may be significantly safer than concrete barriers in the case of impact and fatalities for drivers.
Finally, the fact that water filled barriers can also offer road or construction workers a good level of protection against stones and debris flying up from vehicles, as well as to some extent from the vehicles themselves, also makes them a best fit for challenging sites.