Société du Canal de Provence (SCP) is in charge of the water development of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. As an official subcontractor of this area, SCP undertakes public management in raw water supply and asset management. It aims at maintaining the good state of various works, among which a 68-km-channel network.

Constraints

SCP was, therefore, looking for a flexible system to contain temporarily water during channel maintenances. This system would have to isolate the section in maintenance and would enable various operations, such as:

  • renovation of foundations slabs
  • or joints, sealing cracks…

This solution could as well enable quick isolation of a section, for instance, to contain pollution.

Restrictions were the following :

  • Section length – 200 up to 400 m,
  • Easy and quick installation,
  • Multi-use,
  • Low impact on channel structures, as foundation slabs are not reinforced.
plan canal et batardeaux gonflables

The flexible solution, inflatable cofferdams

After various analysis and studies, SCP chose Pronal inflatable cofferdams owing to their numerous assets meeting its specifications. Each section to be isolated will receive 2 symmetrical cofferdams (upstream and downstream), custom-made according to slabs inclination. Cofferdams will isolate a section with a length of 200 up to 400 m. A by-pass, placed on one of the channel banks, will drain channel flow so as to maintain water distribution. Inflatable cofferdams are made out of SBR rubber and include an inside bladder.

Their high quality makes them resistant to ageing due to:

  • water,
  • temperature,
  • ozone,
  • tears
  • and abrasion.

Once inflated with water, this system will be tight by being adapted to the channel walls. In case of leaks, a continuous drying system, a motor-pump, is provided on-site.

confinement des eaux de canal avec un batardeau gonflable
Batardeaux gonflables

Conclusion

This solution, including a by-pass and mobile drying system, enables a quick water containment. Moreover, with their long life length and their re-usability, the water-inflated cofferdams are a cost-effective solution without any maintenance costs.

This system is similar to that of Protectflood products, which help retain water to prevent flooding.

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