Reap the Benefits of Inspecting and Maintaining Your Turbidity Curtain

A turbidity curtain keeps working 24 hours a day, so it’s important to take good care of it. A little common sense can help maximize the longevity of your investment and prevent failure.

Turbidity curtains are like any other product: The more vigilant you are in maintaining it, the better the performance and the less chance of damage or excessive wear. The time invested in maintenance will pay dividends. And the process is simple if you follow some straightforward steps.

Frequency of inspection

The first question is, how often? The answer depends on where the turbidity curtain is installed and the application. In more demanding environments, such as marine applications with heavy traffic, you’ll need to inspect the curtain much more often. In conditions of high winds, currents or strong wave action, the recommended inspection frequency is daily.

On the other hand, if you’re using a turbidity curtain in calm water with minimal traffic and fairly mild waves, every two to three weeks is OK. But make sure the time doesn’t slip away and you forget about it. A curtain in calm water still needs a periodic check.

Another consideration is the discharge if the curtain is being used in the dewatering process. In that case, it’s important to check for sediment buildup weekly.

In the event of a storm

If your site is in the path of an impending storm, it’s recommended that you remove the curtain before the inclement weather hits. If you can’t remove it in time, be sure to furl the skirt.

Should a severe storm strike before you can remove the curtain, you should inspect it afterward to make sure there is no damage.

Retrieval: Exercise care

Mishandling can itself result in damage, so be cautious when removing a turbidity curtain from the water. Planning and preparation are crucial here: Develop a coherent strategy for removing the curtain and always communicate it with the crew before the retrieval process begins. It should be a tightly coordinated effort, preceded by training for everyone involved.

Checking over your curtain

First, inspect the turbidity curtain for any marine growth. Aquatic organisms that fasten to solid objects can establish themselves in a brief time span. Locate and clean off any marine growth that appears on your curtain to stave off future problems.

Look over the entire curtain to see if floating logs or other debris have caused any tears or punctures. The force of such objects can abrade or even punch holes in your curtain, causing the turbid water to pass through unabated into the surrounding area. Also inspect for any rips at the connectors.

Remember, the proper height of a turbidity curtain is one foot from the bottom. You’ll want to check to determine whether the lowest part of the curtain has dropped or is buried in the sediment. If so, this will seriously impede its proper functioning.

Checking buoys, lines, anchors

Inspect and remove any marine growth from mooring lines, connections and buoys, replacing them if excessive damage exists. If you have special accessories – lights or marine buoys, for example – give them a quick once-over to see if the batteries, solar elements or bulbs are working as they should.
Inspect your anchoring carefully. Make sure the lines in the assemblies aren’t parted and that the anchor hasn’t shifted its position significantly. It may be useful to re-position and re-tension your anchors on occasion.

Keep the curtain working for you  

A properly functioning turbidity curtain can save a contractor from needless fines and project delays. Scheduling regular, proactive checks and quickly dealing with any damage will help the product perform optimally.

Contact the experts at GEI Works with any questions you may have about turbidity curtain maintenance. Call (+1) 772-646-0597 or toll free at (888) 701-9889.

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