US Army Corps of Engineers


Sandbags have been traditionally the product of choice for temporary, barrier type flood fighting structuresin the U.S. In 2004, Congress recognized the need to develop more expedient, cost effective, temporary flood fighting technologies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was brought in. They were asked to find an alternative to sandbags and evaluated 16 different technologies at the time. Based on technical merit, they narrowed the field down to three options– and Portadam was on their shortlist.


Stringent laboratory and field-testing were conducted. Protocol testing included both performance parameters (hydrostatic testing, hydrodynamic testing with waves and overtopping, and structural debris impact testing) and laboratory setting operational parameters (time, manpower, and equipment to construct and disassemble, suitability for construction and disassembly by unskilled labor, fill requirements, ability to construct around corners, disposal of fill material, damage, repair, and reusability). In addition, field-testing added footprint and right-of-way requirements, durability, adaptability to varying terrain, performance on various surfaces and ability to be raised.


According the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report to Congress, Portadam’s strengths include ease of construction and removal (time, manpower, and equipment), low seepage rates, no required fill, high degree of reusability, and limited right-of-way required.

After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished testing the Portadam product, they also purchased 8,000 linear ft of 5-feet high units for flood control. They had sections then stationed across the country for rapid deployment to emergency sites.

Having a flood fighting plan in place is essential. A Portadam system can be a key component of your plan. The system’s flexible design allows custom layout and our rental option eliminates the need for capital expenditure. Portadam’s rapid response approach provides flexibility and the setup & removal is quicker and requires less manpower & equipment than sandbags. The US Army Corps of Engineers has fully tested and vetted the system. Their reports on the results of those tests are available here.

Flood Fighting SOQ PDF  USACE Testing Presentation PDF (27Mb) USACE Testing Report PDF (10Mb)

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