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Flood Control Engineering
The Engineering Division has developed a manual "Homeowners Guide for Emergency Flood Control," for use in preparing for flooding events. The Manual can be viewed online or downloaded for use. It presents some simple actions homeowners can take to prepare for and reduce the impact of flooding to homes and businesses.
The Salt Lake Basin has in recent years been subject to several devastating floods resulting in substantial property damage. During floods, the prime responsibility of your Engineering Division is the control of flood waters in the major rivers and channels throughout the Basin. Therefore, assistance to individual property owners from our experienced flood control personnel is not always immediately possible.
These pages cover typical installations of sandbags, timber and plywood to protect buildings and grounds.
The Engineering Division has compiled this bulletin to assist you in the installation of inexpensive protection at a fraction of the cost necessary to repair flood and debris damage.
The following discussion stresses solutions to problems of particular residents adjacent to waterways with flood potential.
When the storm season arrives and flooding and debris flows occur, it is more difficult to start emergency work; therefore, it is recommended that you initiate your preparation during periods of highest flooding potential, as shown in the table above.
Water and debris control aids are not expensive when compared to the protection received, and can be installed with normal household tools. They consist of materials readily available at your local lumber yard, or from Salt Lake County. Call 562-6400 for information on obtaining aids.
however, basic rules can be followed in all cases involving debris movement.
Sandbags, when properly placed, will re-direct storm and debris flows away from property improvements. They can be obtained from:
Salt Lake County Public Works
6960 South 604 West
Care should be taken to stack sandbags in accordance with the illustrations. Stamp each sandbag into place, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer. Limit placement to three layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided as shown.
Fill sandbags 1/2 to 2/3 full but leave enough flap to turn under. Ends can be left open.
When bags are placed, flatten out and fill voids by mashing bags with feet and vigorously tramp each course of the levee section. This is an extremely important operation for providing a levee which will be as impervious to water as possible and to insure stability of section. Loosely placed sandbags improperly keyed together may result in failure and cause serious damage.
For heights in excess of the above (approx. 3'-6') hold same batter and build on the side as indicated by dashed lines above. Alternate header course (bags placed crosswise) and stretcher courses(bags placed lengthwise)
Estimating Data: Average weight of each filled sandbag, approx. 50 lbs. and approx. 1000 sandbags are required for each 100 sq. ft. of surface (height multiplied by distance).
Revetments are used for emergency bank protection to prevent under cutting and control of course of flood channels.
The ideal material for filling sand bags is a fine sand or course silt. Avoid, as much as possible, the use of coarse gravel and heavy clays.
PREVENT debris from entering doorways and windows by use of Baffle Boards.
HAZARDS may require complete closure of a door and necessitate the use of another entrance.
Typical door and window protection
MATERIALS can be dismantled after the storm season and stored year to year.
USE low grade plywood, and overlap windows, vents or doors three to four inches on all sides.
Use of door and window protection
SECURE the plywood with four or more nails, screws or bolts; a stake and board may also be used to wedge boards in place.USE low grade lumber and overlap section with protruding face downstream.
USE low grade lumber and overlap section with protruding face downstream.
DRIVE stakes to at least one half their length to insure proper anchorage.
PLACE deflectors on solid level soil to reduce the hazard of undercutting.
DO NOT attempt to use the lumber as a dam.
EARTH packed behind the deflector will provide needed additional strength. IF deflector required is more than three feet in height, house will have to be protected with sandbags and used as a deflector.
Salt Lake Country greatfully acknowledges the technical assistance of the following publication in the preparation of this bulletin; Los Angeles County Flood Control District, "Home Owners Guide for Flood and Erosion Control".