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Turbidity Curtains

Turbidity curtains, silt curtains, silt screens, silt barriers, or turbidity barriers, as they are sometimes called, are floating barriers used in marine construction, dredging, and remediation projects to control the silt and sediment in a body of water. Elastec turbidity curtains can be set up to keep construction areas in compliance and protect the environment. Read our Frequently Asked Questions. American Marine, a division of Elastec, has been manufacturing quality turbidity curtains since 1967. View DOT requirements by state.

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Turbidity curtain hero

“Recently I was observing the waves onsite crashing against the shoreline - the winds were so strong they were blowing our plastic covers about; however, the turbidity curtain remained intact and during dredging operations, there was no visible notice of turbidity outside of the curtain! It performed like a champ!”

E. Charles

Type 1 turbidity curtains

Type 1 Turbidity Curtains

Type 1 turbidity curtains or silt curtains, as they are sometimes called, are floating barriers designed to control sediment and runoff at construction sites in calm waters. They are designed for easy deployment and meet Federal and State clean water requirements.

Type 2 turbidity curtains

Type 2 Turbidity Curtains

Type 2 turbidity curtains or silt curtains, as they are sometimes called, are durable curtains that are suitable for mild currents, waves, and wind. These barriers are designed for the control of silt and sediment during marine construction and dredging.

Type 3 turbidity curtains

Type 3 Turbidity Curtains

Type 3 turbidity curtains or silt curtains, as they are sometimes called, are suitable for use in tidal zones, rivers, and bays. This type of curtain is well suited for bridge, intake, and pipeline construction projects.

The implementation of the Clean Water Act Opens in a new window and Phase II of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Opens in a new window has led to major changes in operating procedures for the industrial sector. It has encouraged major product development by Elastec in order to keep up with our customers’ needs and allow them to remain in compliance with these regulations. View DOT requirements by state.

Elastec Type III Turbidity Curtain used near Golden Gate Bridge

Elastec Type III Ruffwater Screen was installed near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. as part of the Crissy Field Drainage Improvement Project. Duane Bennish and Bill Andrus of the Cocoa branch were on site to help with the installation. Learn more about the project.

Turbidity Curtain Questionnaire

In order that we may recommend the best Turbidity Curtain for your project, please provide the following information. If the flow rate is high, Elastec can provide modeling data to determine anchor spacing and feasibility of systems.

Turbidity Curtain Frequently Asked Questions

Are turbidity curtains in stock and ready to ship?
Account for lead times of a few weeks to produce a curtain in the factory. Most curtains will be custom and not off the shelf.

How much curtain do I need for my project?
Account for the anchor rodes. Best anchorage for turbidity curtains is a 5:1 slope. In 10′ of water you will have 50′ of anchor lines on one or both side of the curtain. Possibly into the work area.

How important are water conditions?
Water conditions (wind, wave height, flow rate) are important to ensuring proper anchorage is being used. Account for pull from intake structures, ice, debris, and wake from vessels.

How are deeper curtains affected by tidal flow?
The deeper the curtain, the calmer the conditions need to be. A curtain 30′ deep in 2 knot tidal flow will only have an effective depth of 13′ and will be difficult to keep in place even with heavy anchoring.

How deep should my curtain be?
Curtains should not touch the bottom. Flow of water is not going to be stopped by a fabric curtain. You cannot sandbag or add additional weight to the bottom of the curtain to keep it down. This will tear the curtain. Also, in calm situations, sediment can build up on the curtain making it impossible to retrieve when the work is finished. Curtains will perform better the more parallel they are to the flow.

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