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Sandbags

Sandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.

FILLING
  1. Fill sandbags one-half full. Sand is suggested if readily available; however, sand is not mandatory, and any local soil may be used.
  2. For a more durable bag with increased effective life, mix 10 parts of sand or soil with one part of cement. The materials can be mixed and placed dry. After all bags are in place, a light sprinkling of water is recommended. This technique is only effective with burlap sandbags and will not work with plastic sandbags.
PLACING Fold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top.

It is important to place bags with the folded top toward the upstream or uphill direction to prevent bags from opening when water runs by them.

Care should be taken to stack sandbags in accordance with the illustrations. Place each sandbag as shown, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer. Limit placement to two layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided.

Sandbag Placement

Stacking Against Building
Sandbag Stacking Against Buildings

Pyramid Sandbag Stacking
Pyramid Sandbag Stacking

Directing Debris Away From Buildings
Directing Debris Away From Buildings

Controlling Debris or Storm Flows in Streets
Controlling Debris or Storm Flows in Streets

Directing Flows Between Buildings
Directing Flows Between Buildings

Building Protection
Building Protection

Sliding Glass Door Sealing
Sliding Glass Door Sealing

LIMITATIONS
  1. Sandbags will not seal out water.
  2. Sand and soil filled burlap sandbags deteriorate when exposed for several months to continued wetting and drying. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.
  3. Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires a more permanent type of structure.
CAUTION Do not use straw or bales of hay in lieu of sandbags. They do not perform as well as sandbags and may be washed away.