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Fighting Floods with Water

James Blatz, professor of civil engineering at the University of Manitoba, is collaborating with a Saskatoon-based company to help improve flood tubes—a cost-effective and user-friendly tool for flood prevention. These water-filled tubes can be deployed more quickly than traditional methods and have a much lower environmental impact than traditional methods like sandbags.

After examining the challenges of using the tubes—including puncture, seeping and tipping, Dr. Blatz and his partners have developed new models that are more stable and effective than their predecessors.

This technology will help make deployment of flood prevention easier and faster. One ABC WaterBloc flood tube can replace an equivalent of 2,200 sandbags, and takes only 45 minutes to set up and fill.

The tubes also help save money. They can be installed at a fraction of the cost it would take to erect a barrier of sandbags, and drained and stored for reuse after floodwaters have abated.

Dr. Blatz and his collaborators are looking to build on their success with flood tubes with further projects in flood-prevention technologies.

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