Alternatives to Sandbags: Why NOAQ Boxwall Is a Better Solution for Flooding

noaq boxwall to create artificial pond

Floods are no joke. If your commercial or construction site is prone to floods, you would know the level of chaos and destruction they bring, disrupting your operations and costing you a lot of money. While sandbags are one of the conventional and widely known methods for flood protection, many are now looking at alternatives to sandbags that are not messy and cumbersome to begin with.  

The process of filling sandbags, building a sandbag barrier, and cleaning up afterwards is not easy. It’s a very time and labour-consuming task that requires a lot of effort. Even so, it’s not a highly effective water protection solution and only feeds into a vicious circle where councils rely on the State Emergency Services (SES) to save the day and then do not move into applying much better solutions. 

Why We No Longer Need Sandbags to Stop Flooding

For one, there are many modern alternatives that help us respond better to floods. By upgrading to an innovative solution, we can protect our businesses and industries better than before.

The NOAQ Boxwall is a great alternative to sandbags for flooding in every way. It is extremely convenient to use, easy and lightweight to deploy, and more effective than flooding sandbags. Primarily designed for urban environments and commercial/industrial sites, NOAQ Boxwall is simply a lifesaver! It reduces the burden of emergency assistance services and volunteers and helps them focus on helping out the most vulnerable residents.

Still not convinced?

Let’s look at the bigger picture first for more context before diving into why sandbags are a thing of the past, especially when tackling floods with short warnings.

A Comparison: Drawbacks of Using Sandbags for Flood Control

Sandbags Commercial Flood Barriers
Not very effective in flood control Highly effective in flood control with minimum seepage
It’s time-consuming to prepare sandbags and deploy them at the site All you need to do is click the NOAQ Boxwall units together!
Require as many people as possible to prepare and build sandbag levees Two people can create a 100-meter floodwall in under 25 minutes using NOAQ Boxwall units.
Very heavy and difficult to handle Easily portable and very light
Sand bags for floods can only be used once. Reusable and long-lasting. Simply stack the units on top of each other to store them!
Costly when considering having to buy sandbags every time there’s a flood. Very economical option in the long run. It’s a one-time investment.

Download NOAQ Boxwall’s Specifications & Brochures

forklift carrying heavy sandbags
Sand bags are time-consuming to fill, deploy, and transportAlt text: forklift carrying heavy sandbags to stop flooding
noaq boxwall flood barriers are a lighter and portable alternative to sand bags
The Noaq Boxwall barriers are compact and easy to store

How Serious Is a Flood Emergency?

Floods can have social, economic, and environmental consequences, and adversely affect human lives and property. It’s the second most severe natural disaster in Australia accounting for 20% of natural hazard deaths in the country. So, the importance of flood prevention needs no special emphasis. 

Flood damage can also bring a heavy capital loss for your business or organisation. Your commercial building or construction site can sustain structural damage and electrical issues due to it. Flood water carries debris and germs, and when it stagnates in a place, it becomes even more contaminated, posing many health risks. How can you mitigate these as much as possible?

Insurance is not a solution – it’s only a band-aid!

Many turn towards insuring their property against water damage. However, the rise of flood events in recent times has increased insurance costs, and this in turn has spiked insurance premiums. The cost of full coverage insurance is exorbitant, and you will only be covered after ensuring that the cause of flooding in your area aligns with their definition of flooding. Even making a claim is a long and complex process. 

Insurers won’t cover all the aspects/damages caused by floods. For example, cleaning up and sanitising the premises might not be covered. Besides, even if the insurance covers structural damages, would it cover the potential revenue loss when your business was shut down or interrupted while repairing? 

This is why it’s wise to invest in reliable flood protection systems because insurance does not minimise flood damage. As one of the best sandbags alternatives, NOAQ Boxwall will protect your property by preventing floodwater from entering the premises in the first place. It’s durable and cost-effective, a single set of NOAQ Boxwall units will suffice for a long time. 

Why face disaster and then seek compensation when there’s a better solution for commercial flood damage? 

NOAQ Boxwall Storm babet
NOAQ Boxwall 1000mm high units protect Cafe

Weather patterns are changing for the worse 

Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands are constantly battered by extreme weather conditions and natural emergencies due to their geographic location and climate change. 

Bluemont specialises in providing high-quality disaster-management solutions in these countries. We offer innovative and highly effective flood protection solutions for commercial and industrial sites in flood-prone areas – all world-recognized alternatives to sandbags for flooding.

Riverine floods, flash floods, and coastal floods are three common types of floods occurring in these countries. They are a cause of tropical cyclones, monsoonal activity, or low-pressure mid-altitude systems. Heavy floods are also a cause of La Niña, a weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean. 

However, climate change has disrupted rainfall patterns and worsened their magnitude. 

In March 2021, NSW and Queensland encountered the worst flood damage after six decades. Parts of New Zealand such as Auckland, Marlborough, Gisborne, and Canterbury were affected by severe flooding throughout this year. On the other hand, rising sea levels threaten the Pacific Islands with heavy floods. 

Flash floods, specifically, can come with little to no warning and can happen in any area. In urban areas, flash floods can hit the roads and damage properties if there are no flood protection systems in place. NOAQ Boxwall has proven to be one of the best solutions for flash flood control because of its easy deployment.

 

men on both sides of the noaq boxwall
The Noaq Boxwall at work

Mitigation is key to safeguarding your property.

The damage to your properties can vary depending on the intensity of the flood. It can be worse if water remains stagnant on the surface. The local governments and volunteer organisations remain prepared to help residents with water damage and provide flood relief assistance. 

They rely on traditional flood protection barriers like sandbag levees to prevent floodwater from entering buildings as much as possible. However, they are not very effective. 

The rise in floods over the years makes us question if we should stick to this or look at flood sandbags alternatives for better measure. 

When the workload of emergency assistance services keeps increasing, sandbagging seems infeasible. It is a hindrance to their capacity. Focusing more on preventing flood damage through long-term flood protection systems will help you save money and labour. 

Why Having a Good Flood Protection System Is SO Important

As floods are becoming increasingly frequent, it’s paramount to adopt the best alternatives to sandbag flood control and safeguard your properties. 

Download NOAQ Boxwall’s Specifications & Brochures

Prevent damage to your commercial property

If your commercial property or construction site gets caught in a flood in your area, your operations will be interrupted for days. Without a flood prevention mechanism, floodwater can damage your property, appliances, and other goods in the building. 

You would have to redo the walls, refurbish the interior, and spend a lot to restore your building to its original condition. Let’s not also forget the loss of revenue from closing your business for days until everything is in order again.

Helps you carry out business operations better

Did you know the actual loss from flood damage is so much more than the financial estimation? Business owners, managers, and employees go through a tough time both physically and psychologically when they work towards bringing things back to normal following a flood.

Investing in effective flood prevention products can prevent the disruption that floods cause to organisational activities that will eventually impact growth and development. All of these emphasise the importance of having reliable flood protection barriers in place. Bluemont offers both permanent and temporary flood protection solutions.

Do Sandbags for Flooding Work or Are They Just a Gimmick?

Well, if sandbags for flood protection were a gimmick, they would be extinct by now. But it’s a water protection practice that local governments still use to help their people during floods. 

The issue lies with its low efficacy, cost, and ease of use when compared to other commercial flood barriers. Even the best sandbags for flooding aren’t an ideal solution for responding to time-sensitive flood warnings because their deployment is very time-consuming. They are an outdated method that doesn’t work perfectly well.

How do sandbags prevent flooding?

Sandbags are essentially bags filled with sand. They are a DIY flood barrier that doesn’t completely prevent water from entering your premises. However, rightly filled and stacked sandbags can act as fence barriers and divert water away from the site. 

How effective are sandbags at stopping water?

Sandbags are a temporary solution, and you won’t be able to use them for a prolonged time without replacing them with new ones. Also, you have to expect some level of seepage from these super-absorbent sand bags for floods. Even experts say they are not highly effective

Inflatable Gel or Water-filled Sandbags: Which is better?

There are novel varieties of sandless sandbags that take away the hefty task of filling sandbags. While they can be a better option compared to sand-filled bags, they should be disposed of after use. So, they are still not a sustainable and eco-friendly option compared to better alternatives out there. 

Why making sandbags is difficult

Preparing and deploying sandbags for floods is not complicated. But, it’s labour-intensive work that requires as many people as possible, especially when you have to build a quick dam. The whole process is a major hassle for commercial sites that need a large number of sandbags to protect the property.

Think of the amount of time you have to spend filling sandbags and the number of people you have to hire to do the task. You have to repeat it every time there’s a flood in your area. The good news is there are better alternatives to sandbags for flooding!

What do they do with sandbags after a flood?

Sand bags that have been in flood water are a contaminated waste:

“Wear sturdy gloves and goggles when handling used sandbags, particularly if they have been exposed to floodwater, which is often contaminated with human and animal waste, chemicals and other contaminants”

(extracted from Safecom Australia)

Wet sand bags can contain chemicals, dirt, debris, bacteria, and harmful substances. It’s vital to handle them with care and dispose of them responsibly. They can easily become a cause of diseases. This is why you need alternatives to sandbags.

An increase in the usage of traditional sandbags increases sand mining activities. So, they are not truly an environmentally friendly option. Even biodegradable burlap sandbags lowes last only up to 8 months. On the other hand, NOAQ Boxwall is a lifetime investment!

Sand bags are heavy, which means older or physically weak people find it very difficult to handle them. Will there be enough volunteers in the future who are physically fit to help with the task?

Where to buy sandbags for flooding?

Another issue is that you need to have access to plenty of sand. It is a problem, especially in urban areas. Usually, you can buy sand bags for flood protection from hardware stores. Lowe’s sandbags are highly popular as you can purchase them online.

You can indeed get cheap sandbags, with each costing under $2. 

But, if you think of how many you need to build levees, costs add up quickly. On average, you might need around 30,000 sandbags, 300 people, fuel for transportation, accommodation facilities, and other resources to prevent flooding. The cost alone for sandbags is $59,400 here!

Also, with the rise in floods, the demand for sandbags would rise, increasing its cost. Now, sandbags are meant only for one-time use. So, you have to spend a lot EVERY time there’s a flood in your area. Do you see what we mean?

DIY sandbags for flooding is a practice that has been around for centuries. But there are definitely some issues associated with it. Thanks to the rapid improvement in innovation, we now have many alternatives to sandbags for flooding in the market. 

Which sandbag alternatives do you recommend? 

There are a variety of options that can opt for instead of these traditional flood protection bags. There are permanent sandbags that are meant for prolonged use, gel-filled sandbags that require no sand, lightweight mobile barriers that can be deployed to any area, and tube-like structures for covering longer distances within a short time.

The best sandbag alternative depends on several factors, like location, property size, accessibility, and terrain conditions. However, with our years of expertise in dealing with many alternatives to sandbags for temporary flood protection, we have found one solution to excel in most conditions! It’s also eco-friendly!

Introducing NOAQ Boxwall: The Best Alternative to Sandbags for Flooding

setting up noaq boxwall
Setting up NOAQ Boxwall around residential property building

If your local area has access to timely information on floods, you know when and where it will happen. As mentioned before, the NOAQ Boxwall is a globally acclaimed temporary mobile flood barrier that will help you protect your commercial property with no hassle. 

Organisations and industries worldwide utilise NOAQ Boxwalls to safeguard their business premises and continue their operations with minimal interruptions.

Why is NOAQ Boxwall the best sandbag replacement?

The NOAQ Boxwall is a self-anchoring barrier that can easily remain strong and still on hard and even surfaces like concrete and asphalt. It is specifically designed for urban environments. The flood barrier is ideal for protecting both small and large-scale commercial properties, construction sites, factories, shopping malls, schools, and other buildings.

This mobile flood barrier remains rigidly upright due to the pressure created by flood water diverts water away from the site. The seepage level is hardly noticeable, as the rubber lining underneath does a great job of minimising seepage. Take a look at it by watching our seepage test of NOAQ Boxwall.

Is it strong enough to resist intense floods?

Absolutely. We carried out many high water flow tests to assess its strength, functionality, and chances of overtopping. It held up strong without a sign of toppling! Our spillway test of BW102 shows that the NOAQ Boxwall fence barriers remain steady even when the water overflows at high speed.

NOAQ Boxwall has undergone many trials over the years, proving its outstanding efficacy every time. At present, European Emergency Services utilise it to manage flash floods. Their Urban Flood Concept uses NOAQ Boxwall to redirect water away from properties.

What’s the sandbag alternative weight like?

NOAQ Boxwall is available in two sizes at present. The BW52 can fight floodwater up to 500mm, and each unit weighs only 3.4kg. 

Watch us test the effectiveness of a quick dam built using BW52. The BW102 model, weighing only 15.2 kg, is the right choice to fight floodwater levels up to 1000mm. Did we also say that one Boxwall unit is equal to a stack of 5 sandbags for floods? With a sandbag weighing 15-18 kg on average, you can see how convenient NOAQ Boxwall is. It is also environmentally friendly as you can keep using it.

How long does it take to build a flood barrier?

You can create a long flood barrier by clicking the L-shaped Boxwall units together. Just two people can build a 100-metre-long wall in under 25 minutes

So, creating a 2-metre or even 2000-metre-long barrier won’t take a lot of time. It’s only a fraction of the time and effort compared to the sandbagging method. You can also easily create corners and bends using corner elements and avoid small steps using gable sections. 

Here’s how a school music centre in Sydney got flood-savvy in case of facing a flash flood during the construction phase. 

What to do with NOAQ Boxwall after flooding?

You don’t have to go through a dreadful ordeal as with a flood sandbag.

Simply wash the Boxwall units using a hose, disassemble them, and stack the units one on top of each other after drying. 

noaq boxwall ready to deploy
300m of NOAQ Boxwall ready to deploy

Yes, that’s it! You can store them compactly as they are stackable and use them when required again. This also makes NOAQ Boxwall an eco-friendlier and more sustainable alternative compared to sandbags!

Download NOAQ Boxwall’s Specifications & Brochures

Other Alternatives to Sandbags for Flooding

The NOAQ Boxwall is not the only alternative to sandbags for flooding. 

Bluemont has a range of commercial flood barriers from globally recognised brands to provide you with the best solutions for flood damage. We offer both temporary and permanent alternatives to sandbags for flooding.

Mobile flood barrier tubes by NoFloods and Beaver are ideal for protecting large areas. Similar to an inflatable dam, they are easy to deploy and handle. 

The AquaFence is another mobile flood barrier similar to NOAQ Boxwall in how it functions. It’s one of the best commercial flood barriers for businesses tackling heavy floods.

Looking for the best sandbag alternatives to defend your property from floods? Bluemont has got you covered. Contact us on +61 2 9091 0360 or email us at info@bluemont.com.au for more information. We will help you map out the best solutions for your exact needs.