Sandbags

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Proper Utilization of Sandbags

Warning: Improper utilization of sandbags could cause significant damage. 

Sandbags will NOT guarantee flood protection. Water can seep underground and through seams between bags. Rain can also fall behind barriers. 


Filling Sandbags

  • Use heavy-bodied or sandy soil
  • Avoid fine sand, or dirt containing gravel and rocks
  • Polypropylene sandbags are preferred but treated burlap sandbags may also be used
  • Filling sandbags require 2 - 3 people
  • Untied bags should be filled approximately 1/2 to 2/3 full
  • Tied bags can be filled about 2/3 full
  • Always use gloves to protect your hands during the filling operation
  • After handling treated bags, avoid contact with your eyes and mouth 
  • Remove any debris from areas where bags are to be placed
  • Place the bags lengthwise and parallel to the direction of flow
  • Fill the low spots first before placing bags the full length of the area to be raised

Barriers

  • Lay sandbags in a pyramid style so the joints between sandbags are staggered and covered by other sandbags
  • Stamp down after placing each sandbag to fill any voids between the rows and layers
  • Single rows do not work well when there is stream flow or danger of floating debris
  • Single rows are not recommended to be stacked higher than 1 - 2 feet tall

Doorways

  • Sandbags can help protect doorways if a waterproof layer is placed behind properly filled and stacked bags
  • Use heavy plastic or waterproof canvas and secure to the door frame
  • Place sandbags firmly and stagger as shown
  • Wrap plastic up and over the top
  • The waterproof sheeting is always essential for the protection of doorways
  • Used sandbags can contain hazardous chemicals from floodwaters
  • These sandbags should be disposed of as hazardous waste