What Type of Turbidity Barrier Does Your Project Need?

When selecting the right type of turbidity curtain for your project, there are some important factors to consider.  When you call our technical team to ask what type of turbidity barrier to use on your project, they will ask about the conditions present at your site that will affect its use.

They may ask for any site plans, specifications or bathymetric readings you may be able to email in for review.  In order to understand timelines and lead times, they will want to know when you will need the turbidity barriers on site.  They may ask what site requirements there are, or what engineering specs you have been asked to follow, if any.   Let’s look at the criteria for selection in a little more detail.

1. Water Body:  Is the curtain going to be deployed into a river, lake, pond, stream, or in the ocean? The type of water is important for several reasons.   If the barrier will be deployed in fresh water, galvanized components and standard materials should be acceptable for shorter term projects.  However, if there are contaminants or if it will be used in salt or brackish water, certain compatibilities may need to be considered.   Is the bottom silt?  What depth?  Sand, or rocky bottoms may also change anchoring strategies.  The water body type should prompt additional questions about conditions where the curtain will be deployed.

2. Current:  Your technical advisor is going to ask about water flow or the speed of the current where the barrier will be.  What direction is the flow relative to the deployment area?  Water speed is a significant factor in determining which type of turbidity barrier is required.  Our team utilizes load-bearing calculation to help determine what forces will be present in your provided conditions.  The velocity of the current in knots is measured against wind and wave measurements to help configure loading.  The direction of flow determines the anchoring pattern that will hold the curtain in place.  The velocity of the current contributes to the anchoring as well.

3. Waves:  The velocity, frequency, type and size of the waves play an important part in curtain type selection.  Typically, waves under two feet with moderate winds may allow the use of Triton Type 2 curtains.  Faster water and waves of two feet or higher become a more highly engineered project.  The load bearing for tension parameters with flotation (buoyancy), drape and weight are all considerations we take into account.  The frequency is the timing between waves.  As for the type, are they most often breaking waves?  Swells?  Rollers?  All have a different impact on the way the barrier will behave in those conditions.

4. Wind:  Wind speed, measured in knots, contributes to load bearing calculations as well, along with current direction, speed and wave height.  Wind factors are considered for installation as well as performance and longevity in field.

5. Tides:   Tidal water requires specific consideration for which type of curtain, and important accessories should be considered.  If tidal swings are significant, then tidal compensators may be required as a sliding mechanism to help the barrier adjust to the varying water depths.  In addition, barriers deployed in a tidal area often require more robust components, additional tension cables, and dual anchoring to keep the pre-determined curtain design stable against reversing currents. 

6. Navigation:  If the silt barrier will be placed in a body of water in which marine traffic is present, proper marine navigational LED lights, markers, reflectors and warning signs may be needed to help with visibility.  In addition to adding proper safety accessories of this nature, the design or layout of the curtain may require adjustment and consideration for the flow of marine traffic.  Often, curtain deployed in a high traffic zone cannot be stretched across a body of water, impeding traffic.  A ‘baffle’ pattern may be suggested, where the silt barrier creates a number of ‘switchbacks’ for water to flow through and settle, but which also allows for the passage of boats.

7. Depth:  Water depth and bottom conditions are important in determining the type of anchor that should be used.  The Army Corps of Engineers recommends that silt curtain / turbidity barrier skirts remain 1’ (one foot) from the bottom surface at all times.  In the tidal conditions above, considerations are made for accessories that can also help with the changing depth.  Reefing lines can be purchased and installed during manufacture, which act as the cord on a sent of mini-blinds, furling and unfurling skirt according to different bottom depths. We can also make each section of curtain tailor-made for the area it will be deployed in, so that skirt depth ranges by section according to bathymetric readings of the bottom’s differing depths.  Others choose standard sizing for the deepest depth required, then utilize factory-installed reefing lines to manually adjust curtain lengths to match varying depths.  Reefing lines are recommended for skirts over 10’ in depth.  The reefing lines make deployment, maintenance and removal much easier and more efficient. For skirt lengths over 10’ larger flotation is required.

8. Duration:  If the water and site conditions warrant the use of lighter, small barrier types, the duration of the project may be another factor that may require a move to more robust components or fabrics.  Most Type 1 projects require curtain that will be deployed for 6-12 months.  Longer use will require review of project duration in conjunction with the other determining factors above. 

9. Anchoring:  Inarguably the single most important factor in the successful performance of any barrier project is proper anchor weight, frequency and positioning for the conditions.  Whereas it is not a factor specific to choosing the type of curtain, the factors used to determine the right type of curtain – also determine the right kind of anchoring pattern, frequency and weight.  Bottom type, depth, tide, current, wind, and marine traffic are just some of the factors to take into account. Our technical advisors can work with you to determine the proper anchoring required for selected barriers.

10. Accessories:  Accessories may seem an afterthought, but the right accessories to match supplied product and conditions for use – can greatly reduce labor, wear, or damage to your silt barrier.  Tow bridles help defray pulling force from a single point by evenly distributing forces along load-bearing components.  Anchor kits are chosen to suit conditions and curtain types.  Repair kits make in-field repairs possible, and fabrics and supplied materials should be compatible with site conditions and longevity requirements.  Additional anchor points may need to be installed for applications where more aggressive anchoring is required.  “T” connectors can be provided to join sections of curtain in particular patterns to create settling areas.  Ground anchors can be provided for Type 1 curtain being deployed and anchored to shore or for in-water applications where depth considerations can be overcome.  Hull connectors can be used to attach sections of barrier directly to a hull.  Replacement connectors, spare sections, stainless steel components, zinc anodes and standoffs can also be supplied to suit the conditions of your site and the parameters of your project.  Be sure to talk to our technical team to determine which accessories can make your job easier, less costly, and longer lasting!

How to Stay Prepared for Spills

Every facility should maintain a contingency plan to prevent accidents from becoming disasters. Before implementing a response plan, it is crucial to maintain the proper spill absorbents and provide training for all employees. While creating a spill preparedness plan, take the time to observe your facility’s environment.

Surveying Your Spill Area

By taking the time to survey your area, you should notice things like:

  • Slope: Warehouse floors, driveways, parking lots and natural terrain will show you where the spill will travel. The trick here is not to chase the spill but meet the spill with the oil absorbent materials in a strategic location. 
  • Water Ways: If you are near bodies of water, you will have to take stock and imagine the worst case scenario and prepare for it. Have an action plan in place along with adequate spill absorbents on hand. When hydrocarbons hit the water, they can spread very quickly. 
  • Response: How far and how much? How far away will your response team be from a possible spill, and how much material will they need to carry to the spill? Shortening the response time and having adequate spill cleanup equipment in strategic locations allows you to respond effectively.

When formulating a contingency plan for spill preparedness, the following questions may provide valuable insights:

1. What kinds of liquids may consist of the spill (oils, water, coolants)?
2. Where could the spill occur (is it a facility, lake, marina, warehouse, on soil/ground/   
    sealed floors?
3. What is the anticipated size of the spill (small spill, emergency cleanup)?
4. Does your environment/facility need an anti-static product?
5. What is the expected duration of the spill? Will it be considered Hazmat? Medical?
6. Are you looking for reusable or disposable pads? 

large spill kitsSpill kits, designed for quick access, can play an integral role as part of a response plan. They normally come in three different types: oil only, universal, and hazardous material. Each kit is designed for a specific purpose, such as spill control, regulatory compliance, or preventive maintenance. Spill kits contain a list of products that facilitate a swift response according to an established contingency plan. They can be customized to meet your unique needs.

How to Effectively Utilize Your Oil Absorbents 

Combining the correct equipment and training with a clear contingency plan ensures that your facility is adequately prepared. With a thorough plan in place, the incidence of a spill can be handled safely and efficiently. The following is an 8 step guide for spill response.
Methods for Oil Spill Containment and Clean Up

Identify the type of liquid spilled and determine the ways in which it will impact your environment.  
Notify the proper personnel according to your contingency plan. Once the extent of the spill is understood, measures can be taken to isolate the area.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Wear appropriate safety gear before addressing the spill. 
Once the correct absorbents or kits have been chosen, limit the spill area by blocking, diverting, or confining the spill.
Stop the Source
This could simply involve turning a container upright or plugging a leak from a damaged drum or container. Once the leak has been stopped the liquids should be transferred from the damaged container to a new one.
Clean Up
Once the absorbents are saturated, they may be considered hazardous and should be disposed of properly.
Dispose of materials according to your local, state and federal regulations. Contact your local disposal company for clarification.
Update and Review
Make sure your call list is up to date. You should be able to contact someone in your chain of command or the responsible agency/dept. Review the effectiveness of your contingency plan.
These methods are meant to act as a guide for companies to follow. They do not constitute a spill response plan in themselves. However, they do provide a framework of reference for facilities to build a customized plan. Implementing these methods as part of your plan will ensure that your facility will be prepared to respond to unexpected spills.

Six Advantages of GEI Works Dewatering Products

What is dewatering? 

Dewatering – The process of removing water from a solid material or particulates. Dewatering is made possible through the use of various dewatering equipment, such as belt presses, centrifuges, geotextiles, or rotary vacuums. Dewatering is also referred to as unwatering, water control groundwater control, sludge dewatering, construction dewatering, or construction site dewatering.
 Taurus dewatering products by GEI Worksdewatering filter bag

Our dewatering products are made from a rugged, needle punched, nonwoven geotextile fabric. Dewatering filter bags, drain filter socks and sludge tubes are an easy, economical solution to control the amount of sediment that leaves a factory or job site. These dewatering products help you stay in compliance with stormwater regulations. Dewatering products also filter non-stormwater such as: water from cofferdams, water diversions, ground water and water used during construction projects.

Advantages of geotextile dewatering bags

Cost Effectiveness
Dewatering bags are a small investment compared to more permanent mechanical dewaterers as a result of their disposability. This is achieved through a simple design of a hose coupling and a water-permeable geo-textile.

When not filled, GEI Works dewatering bags can be folded easily and stored for future use. Once sediment has filled the bag, it can be picked up and transported, depending on weight, to an appropriate dumping location. Or, the bag may be allowed to dry on-site and then cut open to reintegrate the solids into the surroundings.

Product Availability
Given the foldable design and cost, water control bags by GEI Works can be manufactured and shipped in very short time frames.

Ease of Use
Dewatering bags can be set up or transported away by just one person. With their simple design, all you have to do is unfold the bag, attach the hose, and begin dewatering!

Ease of Particulate Recyclability
Although the bags are not reusable, the separated particulates can find use in a variety of applications, including landscaping and agriculture. For example, dewatered silt is high in nutrients, making it an ideal soil amendment for various types of plants and vegetation.

Low Energy Input
The use of a geotextile allows for passive separation of water and solid matter, which means dewatering bags require the lowest energy input out of all other commercial dewatering products. Simply pump the water and allow the bag to do the rest!

Are you in need of a dewatering solution for your next project? Check out our available options at GEIWorks.com or call us at +1-772-646-0597.

Welcome to the new and improved GEI Works Blog!

Hello and thank you for joining us again on the official blog of GEI Works!

Our blog has been resurfaced and redesigned from the former Granite Environmental, Inc. style to the improved design you see today. References to Granite Environmental, Inc., with the exception of the blog address, have been changed to GEI Works to match our company name. Furthermore, on the right sidebar there are links to all of our social media accounts so you can stay up-to-date with everything GEI Works, so be sure to visit our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages!

Activity on our blog has been sporadic in the past, but from here on out you can expect regular updates from us as we share with you new information about containment, pollution prevention, liquid storage, erosion control, trade shows, and the latest news about GEI Works.

Be sure to join in the conversation on our social media accounts, as we greatly value your feedback and support. Check back next week for the first of many posts right here on the GEI Works Blog!

Why do shrimp taste so good?

It's the "Golden Water"  used for farming  shrimp.

The salt water stock is referred to as "Brine" and "Golden Water",  rich with nutrients and energy for the pacific white shrimp according to Florida Organic Aquaculture, LLC. It provides a natural source of nutrients and qualities  to a controlled shrimp raising  process.  It will be  harvested from a water treatment facility and stored in a 10,000 gallon poly tank. The shrimp farm will pump the 'brine' from the tank to a truck which will transport the golden water to the shrimp farm.

The project consisted of an aluminum angle berm whose purpose would be to  catch any spill of the brine during the transfer from the tank to a truck used to transport the brine. The berm was spec'd to contain 110% of the tank contents and measured 15' x 50'. It was fitted with a valve that could be opened to release any rain water that collected during the life of the project. Standing water in the berm would not only delay the extraction time of the brine but could also enable the breeding of mosquitoes.  The aluminum angle frames would be removed from one end of the berm in order for the truck to enter after which they would be replaced to ensure the berm captured any over spill or leaks from the pumping process of the brine from the tank to the truck.  An underlayment of geotextile was also used under the berm to reduce punctures and damage to the berm from rocks or other ground debris. Additionally, plywood "runners" and additional geotextile was suggested to be used to create a "track" for the path of the truck tires. This will help to prevent punctures or other damage to the berm. It was also recommended that the driver brush or clean any debris from the trucks tire tread before entering the berm.

The tank was a 10k gallon poly tank with a 24" vented manway  opening on the top and a release valve fitting  at the bottom front of tank.

GEI Works installed the berm in place prior to the delivery of the tank which was set in place using a crane.

Filtering stormwater and protecting the Indian River.

It’s refreshing to see sustainable environmental products used right here in our own back yard. GEI Works manufactures and ships environmental products all over the world; however, there is a special sense of pride when we see our products being used in our home town of Sebastian,Florida.

“They’re working great” says Chris Pinson of PinsonContractor Services of Sebastian, FL. He’s referring to the Taurus brand of over-the-grate filters manufactured by GEI Works, Inc. It’s challenging for construction companies to keep soil laden  stormwater, and pollutants from exiting the job site during construction, not to mention during Florida’s frequent storm events. Even with the best perimeter practices in play, there will inevitably be natural events that cause site discharge and runoff to escape.

We have to think “outside the box” or “outside the site perimeter”, if you will, when it comes to protecting our lakes, rivers and streams. When storm drains are taxed with debris, soil, sediment and trash, they are defenseless in preventing these aggregates from entering estuaries.  Stormwater drains are meant for rain, which is why we have designed the Taurus Over Grate Filter to reduce pollutants from entering storm drains.

Chris is working on a project to provide additional parking in a busy area next to the Indian River in Sebastian, FL. There are a number of popular restaurants along the river bank on Indian River Drive including Tiki Bar, Captain Hiram’s, Squid Lips and Mulligans. This job site is on undeveloped property, which makes soil disruption a necessary element of development. Chris states “The city of Sebastian is very focused on protecting the Indian River from unwanted nutrients due to site run-off. They love the Taurus over grate filters. As a contractor, I like that the product works and is easy to install. What’s more, it makes the inspectors happy”.

Pictured below: The Taurus Over Grate Filter fits over the top of the stormwater drain grate. It allows water to flow into the storm drain while filtering sediment and debris. These filters are currently protecting the storm drains located downstream from the above mentioned construction site. Taurus Under Grate Filters are equally effective and available for high traffic construction areas.  Equally capable, Taurus Curb Inlet Filters catch debris inside curb drains.

For more than a decade, GEI Works, Inc. has been providing quality made products to the construction industry, emergency response agencies, spill clean up companies and many others. GEI Works, Inc. is proud to be an environmentally conscience company, and proud to call Sebastian, Florida home.

For more information about GEI Works, Inc., visit www.GEIWorks.com
To contact Chris Pinson of Pinson Contractor Services, LLC., email Chris at CPinsonCS@gmail.com

Marine Debris Removal Grant Opportunity

We’ve all seen it: Unsightly and harmful piles of plastic bottles, trash and other debris floating in the water and on the shoreline.  It’s an increasing problem, rearing its head as cosmetic eyesores along shorelines, and silently killing marine animals and ecosystems below the water’s surface.

Thankfully, there’s an increasing awareness forming; educating and alerting the public to the harmful impact of debris and what can be done to mitigate it. 

Supporting US based marine cleanup efforts, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program has announced their 10th annual “Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant Opportunity.”  In 2015 they awarded almost 1.4 million dollars between 13 organizations to support water clean-up projects. This year, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is prepared to award 2 million dollars to “locally-driven, marine debris assessment and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways and NOAA trust resources”.

This grant opportunity comes from the Marine Debris Program within NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Their mission is to increase public awareness and education of marine debris issues to identify and prevent debris pollution in our water sources. Whether you’re concerned about marine debris affecting aquatic underwater life, or the visible shoreline blemishes above water, opportunities like these are crucial for local initiatives to drive action and awareness.

You can read more here on NOAA’s Blog:

(For more about the effects of water pollution and prevention, see: water pollution solutions)   

If, like GEI Works, your organization is dedicated to the conservation of marine habitats, waterway cleanup efforts, or raising public education and awareness on the importance of debris removal, we encourage you to apply for this funding!  

GEI Works, Inc. manufactures products that work, including innovative and custom products for the protection of marine environments.  If we can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.