Wastewater treatment plant in Decatur, IL won’t need to use sand bags this year

Sanitary District of Decatur is protercted from flooding by FloodBreak flood barriers and a floodwallThe Sanitary District of Decatur, a wastewater treatment plant in Decatur, IL is permanently protected from flood damage should the flooding that is ravaging many towns in the Midwest, threaten their facility.  They will not have to use personnel to fill and place sand bags around the plant nor undertake other flood fighting activities.  In 2012, the Sanitary District of Decatur added a floodwall and installed 7 FloodBreak® floodgates to protect the perimeter of their facility.

FloodBreak automatic flood barriers protect the wastewater treatment plant entranceFloodBreak automatic floodgate protects vehicular entranceFloodBreak Automatic Floodgate provides permanent flood protection
FloodBreak automatic flood barrier provides 24/7 flood protectionFloodBreak protects openings in th efloodwallFloodBreak passive flood barrier protects a vehicle entrance
Having recently completed its Wastewater Facilities Improvement and Expansion Program to meet the needs of Decatur’s area residents and industries well into the 21st Century, they realized the importance of keeping floodwaters out.  The wastewater treatment plant is protected with permanent flood barriers including vehicle gates that deploy automatically to protect vehicular entrances. Designed for industrial conditions, the permanently installed vehicle floodgates remain hidden, which allows full access to the plant.

FloodBreak prevents flood damage at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute

A FloodBreak® passive floodgate system was installed at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville, TN to provide permanent protection 24/7  against future flooding.

FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate was selected to prevent future flood damageFloodBreak Automatic Floodgates protect against floodingFloodBreak passive flood barriers deploy without human intervention or powerFloodBreak passive flood barriers protect 24/7The Vanderbilt Eye Institute, a department of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was inundated with two feet of water on the first floor in the 2010 Flood.  Flooding on the Cumberland River also damaged the Grand Ole Opry House, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Bridgestone Arena and LP Field – home of the Tennessee Titans.

The FloodBreak pedestrian floodgate is permanently installed beneath grade at the Eye Institue entrance and will deploy automatically, without human intervention or power, should floodwaters approach the building.  The passive system is comprised of a buoyant beam that is lifted by the hydrostatic pressure from the rising floodwaters to prevent the water from entering through the doorway.  Self activating gaskets seal the barrier against the sidewalls.


FloodBreak chosen to protect another hospital

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is an 84-acre campus on Galveston Island that was devastated by Hurricane Ike.   FEMA awarded the state of Texas more than $90 million, in the form of a Public Assistance Grant, for flood mitigation including FloodBreak passive flood barriers as part of dry floodproofing measures. FEMA requires that all non-residential structures that are located in Zone AE and are to be substantially improved must either have their lowest floors elevated to or above the base Flood Elevation (BFE) or be dry floodproofed (made substantially impermeable) to or above the BFE.

FloodBreak passive flood barriers protect against floodingFloodBreak passive flood barriers provide flood protection below the BFEFloodBreak passive flood barriers were chosen to provide permanent impermeable passive protection, but also because they are designed to withstand hydrostatic, hydrodynamic, and impact forces produced by flooding or high water events. When completed, the Primary Care Pavilion will have 13 FloodBreak passive flood barriers protecting vulnerable entrances.

UTMB joins a growing list of protected hospitals:

  • MD Anderson Cancer Center – Houston, TX
  • Lourdes Hospital – Binghamton, NY
  • Columbus Regional Hospital – Columbus, IN
  • Bayshore Medical Center – Pasadena, TX
  • Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth – Beaumont, TX
  • Lebanon Medical Center – Lebanon, OH
  • Cheyenne Medical Center – Cheyenne, WY

Hidden Passive Flood Barriers Protect Restaurant 24/7

FloodBreak® passive flood barriers provide permanent flood protection and are virtually invisible with tile covering.

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Raise Levees Without Raising Bridges

FloodBreak® Roadway Gates are a cost effective way to raise levees that must extend across roads and highways to meet FEMA accreditation requirements.

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FloodBreak Presentation at NAO Conference

FloodBreak presented flood mitigation technology solutions at the National Aerospace Organization (NAO) conference in November, 2012 in Cocoa Beach FL.  The conference: Protecting Military Airbases & Commercial Airports from the Destructive Forces of Nature and was designed to help military airbases or municipal and regional airports protect their facilities, aircraft, personnel, and assets against the destructive forces of nature including hurricanes and flooding.

Representatives from general and commercial aviation, municipal and regional airports, military airbase representatives and military civil engineering project managers attended the event.

Live demonstrations of passive mitigation technologyFloodBreak demonstrated its passive flood mitigation technology with a demonstration trailer where viewers could see the passive flood barrier lifted by the hydrostatic pressure from the floodwater.

Learn more about the conference and the NAO by watching the video featuring Colonel John D. Thomas, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) President, National Aerospace Organization.

FloodBreak will present passive flood mitigation technology at the Protecting Military Airbases and Commercial Airports Against the Forces of Nature conference

Passive Flood Mitigation Reduces Flood Vulnerability

Columbus Regional Hospital is now protected from future flooding thanks to hazard mitigation and a floodwall with 15 FloodBreak® passive floodgates.

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Why does the FloodBreak flood barrier float?

Why does the flood barrier float?

The FloodBreak passive flood barrier is actually a buoyant panel constructed of hollow aluminum extrusions. The extrusions are designed to be structural while also providing excellent flotation. Additionally, the extrusions are chambered so that even if an area of the panel is compromised, the overall panel will still float. This is similar to the design of a ship’s hull, where bulkheads protect the ship even if the hull is locally damaged.

FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates are lifted by the rising floodwaterAs the floodwater fills the gate pan, the hydrostatic pressure lifts the flood barrier and continues to raise it as the floodwater continues to rise. The buoyant flood barrier floats on top of the water. There is no need for human intervention or power to deploy the FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate.  See How It Works

How much does the floating panel weigh?

The actual weight varies depending on the type of gate, size and any special coatings or surface treatments specified. We design the cross-section of the gate panel to ensure that the total weight is always less than the water it floats upon and include a factor of safety to ensure this. Every floodgate is certified by an independent professional engineer who ensures that the floodgate is designed to successfully deploy.

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Will the FloodBreak Gate operate with muddy water?

We have a problem with silt and clay in our floodwater. How does this affect the operation and maintenance of the floodgates? 
FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates will operate normally with silt and clay suspended in the floodwater. It doesn’t impact the operation – even very muddy water will float the gate. The system is designed so that debris is washed through to the pan and out the drainage pipes, including during rainstorms and other non-flood water events. The gate and pan are designed to be self-clearing both before and during a flood.

Will debris affect the operation of the gate?
The gate and pan are designed to be self-clearing both before and during a flood. Debris is blocked from entering the pan prior to a flood, and the gate and tension members are designed to withstand impact from large objects floating in the floodwater. Drains act to keep the pan clear during normal conditions and to remove the floodwater quickly once a flood has begun to subside. We always recommend checking and clearing the gate after a flood has receded. In over a decade of field deployments, debris has never caused damage or malfunction of our systems.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the gate have to be in the 90 degree, fully upright position to stop the flood?
The FloodBreak system will rise with the flood, from initial activation all the way to full deployment. The higher the flood, the higher the gate rises. The gate will hold the maximum elevation of flood water it is designed for. The majority of flood events are far less than the full design elevation, and therefore the gate works even during unexpected events at odd times.

Can FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates be used to prevent floods from sea water? Do the materials corrode?
Yes, FloodBreak gates can be installed in marine applications. All of the components used in the fabrication of our gates are specified so that rust or corrosion are not a factor even in harsh environments such as road salt and salt water.

What is the material used in the seals on the gates? What is the rated life of the material? What is the maintenance and replacement process for the material?
All of FloodBreak’s seals are made from EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). The blended sheet is a black colored sheet rubber which provides excellent resistance to weathering, chemicals, salts, ozone and UV exposure. It is rated for 10 year service life and can be easily replaced when required. See material specifications.

What are the maintenance requirements for your automatic floodgates?
FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates are designed for long service life and require minimal maintenance.They are designed to be self-clearing but a power washer can also be used to clean away any debris. We recommend an annual inspection to check the gate panel, pan, and sidewalls for visible damage or misuse. With the gate in the raised position,the gasket, gasket flange bolts and hinges should also be checked. We suggest that spray lubricant beapplied to the gaskets. That’s it.

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