It’s a city famous for its stellar university, but parts of Oxford, England, were underwater in January as the Oxford City Council tried to stave off historic flooding. The fire service deployed 15 water-filled vinyl-coated polyester tubes approximately eight feet high and 100 feet long to prevent inundation of residential areas. Any emergency manager could testify that sandbags are heavy, messy, labor intensive and contaminated after use, so the “flood tubes” can save time and labor and also be re-used.
Hydro-Solutions Inc., Houston, Texas, makes the WIPP™ (water-inflated property protector) flood barriers, which succeed because of a patented internal baffle system that prevents the filled tubes from rolling. The WIPP system inflates with water in under an hour, comes in various sizes, folds up before and after use, can be re-used, and the 8-foot height used in Oxford replaces 27,750 sandbags. The technology works to prevent stormwater runoff on construction sites or keep chemical spills from reaching surface water resources, in addition to keeping floodwaters out of subsurface parking garages and household basements.
Find out more at the company’s Web site, www.wippsystem.com.