Turbidity Curtain FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about Turbidity Curtains
Thank you for your interest in Triton Turbidity Curtains. To help get the information you need about turbidity curtains, please review these turbidity curtain FAQs to Learn more about their uses, applications, and installation.
Q: Are turbidity barriers the same as turbidity curtains?
Yes! Turbidity curtains are known by many names, including: turbidity barriers, silt barriers, silt curtain, sediment filter barrier, floating silt fence, and floating sediment fence.
Q: How do I know if I need a boom or a curtain?
Boom are used to contain substances (oil, trash, seaweed, logs, or other debris) floating on the surface of the water. On the other hand, turbidity curtains are used to contain both floating debris and sediment suspended beneath the surface of the water.
Q: What is a floating baffle? How is it different than a floating silt curtain?
Water baffles are similar to silt curtains, but with a different purpose. They are designed and installed to create channels in bodies of water (like lagoons, tanks, clearwells, reservoirs, irrigation ponds, and waste water treatment plants) that affect the rate and direction that water flows through a controlled area. Slowing the rate of flow allows greater time for the suspended sediment particles to settle. See: What is a water baffle.
Q: Do you make your turbidity curtains and boom?
Yes! GEI Works proudly designs and manufactures curtain and boom at our facility in Sebastian, Florida. We take great pride in the workmanship, durability and success of our products. Our objective is to provide you with a solution that works.
Q: What lengths do turbidity barriers come in?
Turbidity curtains are available in either 50 or 100 foot long sections (horizontal). The sections are designed to interlock, so that you can connect them to form the length of barrier that your project needs.
Q: How do I know which type of turbidity curtain I need?
This will be determined by several key factors, including water depth, current, waves & wind. Please see our Triton Turbidity Curtain Comparison Guide, or contact us for further assistance.
Q: Does turbidity curtain come in other colors?
Yes! Yellow is the standard, for high visibility. However, we do have several other custom turbidity curtain colors available upon request.
Q: How do I determine what depth is needed for my turbidity curtain?
Turbidity Curtain sections are made to the depth that you need for your project. The standard depth is 5 feet, but can range from 3 to 100 feet. The depth of the curtain is dictated by the depth of the water at the site location. For example, if the water is 10 feet deep at your project site, you'll want a curtain that's approximately 9 feet deep.
Q: Should the turbidity curtain touch the floor of the containment area?
No. The general rule of thumb and best management practice is for the turbidity curtain to allow a clearance of 1 foot between the water body's floor and the bottom of the curtain. This keeps the curtain from dragging on the bottom, causing additional turbidity in the water (instead of containing and minimizing it). If the curtain rests on the bottom, the sediment will also pile up against the curtain (pulling it down), impairing the floating and functioning of the curtain. Lastly, the clearance at the bottom also allows aquatic animals a way to exit the controlled area.
Q: What if the depth of the water is different across the length of the containment area?
It is not unusual for the water depth to vary across a project area. For the best performance of your silt curtain, it will need to rest no closer than 1 foot of the water's floor. There are a couple of ways to address this:
Option 1) Barrier comes in measured segments. You can request different depths for each segment. We can label and order the segments for your reference in assembling the barrier for installation. Note: This can significantly increase the time required for installing the barrier. Instead, we suggest:
Option 2) Adding reefing lines (also known as furling lines) to your curtain. This allows you to easily raise or lower the depth of each curtain segment from a boat. They must be installed at time of manufacture. Ask your GEI Works specialist for more information about how reefing lines work, and whether they're a good fit for your project.
Q: Is there a best practice for installing anchors and buoys with turbidity curtain?
Yes. There are a couple of common errors that beginning curtain installers make. Sometimes users will anchor the curtain directly to the ocean/lake/river floor, or attach the anchor directly to the curtain. These methods are not correct. Both of these options significantly impair the curtain's performance and create excessive load and strain on your curtain. This can damage your curtain. Instead, we recommend following the diagram on this page as an anchoring guide.
Q: What if I don't use the right number of anchors?
Simply put, without proper anchoring your project will fail. Anchoring keeps your curtain in proper position and accounts for reasonable fluctuations due to weather. The impact of not using enough anchors (or placing them incorrectly) is significant:
1) The curtain will not stay in position causing the turbid water to bypass the curtain.
2) Insufficient anchoring places additional strain on the curtain itself. This frequently causes unnecessary damage to the curtain, shortening it's use-life.
3) Picture a parachute in the water. With enough current, a poorly anchored curtain system will take flight and can lead to serious liability issues.
For more information, see Turbidity Curtain: Only as Strong as It's Weakest Anchor. See also Silt Barrier Accessories
Q: How many anchors do I need for my floating silt curtain?
It depends on the current, depth, and environment of your project. We can help. Our representatives use several key factors to determine both the number and placement of the anchors for minimizing the load placed on your curtain. We can't state it strongly enough, proper anchoring is crucial to your project's success and to protecting your investment in turbidity curtain.
Q: How do I install a turbidity barrier?
Please see the Turbidity Curtain Installation Guide.
Q: Can a silt curtain be repaired?
We do have patch kits available, depending on the nature, location, and extent of the tear on your curtain. We can also offer advice on how best to care for your curtain, for damage prevention and longer use-life.
Q: Do I need lights for my floating silt barrier?
You will want to check your local regulations for lighting requirements of floating barriers on public waterways. With boater safety in mind, it is common to have night-time lighting requirements for barriers in public waters. This also helps protect your curtain or barrier. See Floating Marker Lights.
Q: What is a tow bridle and why is it important?
A tow bridle is used when hauling the curtain or barrier out into a body of water for installation, or when relocating the barrier. A tow bridle alleviates the stress that towing can place upon the curtain fabric. It helps deliver your curtain or barrier safely and damage-free to its in-water destination for installation. It can also be used to anchor the curtain to the shore, in appropriate applications. See Turbidity Curtain Accessories.
Q: Do you provide installation services?
Yes! We can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your curtain is installed properly. We provide installation support services to mid and central Florida. Installation assistance at other locations (US or International) can also be accommodated. Please Contact Us for more information or a price quote for turbidity curtain installation services.
Q: Do you keep turbidity curtains in stock?
Yes, we do keep a supply of silt curtains in stock. Please don't hesitate to call us to check available inventory. If not in stock, we can normally accommodate a 7-10 business day lead time for curtain production (depending on the size of the order, type of curtain, and any special requirements).
Q: Do your turbidity curtains meet Canadian regulations for erosion control?
We at GEI Works take great pride in the success of our products & the real world results they produce. We can absolutely help you find the right product to satisfy your local regulations. When you contact us, please provide any specifications you have regarding the related regulations.
Q: Does your impermeable type II DOT Turbidity Curtain allow water to pass through?
Our Impermeable type II DOT Turbidity Curtain allow water to pass through and are in fact impermeable. They are typically manufactured with a DOT impermeable PVC fabric that keeps silt, sediment, turbidity and other materials safely contained within your containment section. These curtains are specifically designed to prevent materials from spreading to other sections of your location.
Using turbidity curtains for dredging? Read about the Dredging Operations and Environment Research Program (DOER).