BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Field of the Invention
This invention relates to water structures for damming water courses,
the controlling of water flow and the like, and, in particular, provides a low
cost and easily constructed sleeve arrangement for linking and connecting together
sections of water structure tubular sections into dams, breakwaters, and for sectioning
off water containing areas for de-watering.
There is clearly a need for easily installable dam structures, particularly
structures that are relatively inexpensive, non-permanent, reuseable and are durable.
Such are also particularly desirable for controlling pollution problems resulting
from oil or chemical spills, for flood control, and the like. Such dam structures
are also useful, for example, for temporary damming operations such as may be
involved in farming operations for de-watering fields, for use as temporary breakwaters,
and the like.
It has been recognized in the past that fluid filled flexible dams
and barriers can be used for retention of water or control of water flow and wave
action. A number of U.S. patents that show various configurations of dams and barriers
that can generally be considered temporary structures have been issued serving
these and like functions. Such arrangements are shown generally, for example, in
certain U.S. Patents to: Mesnager, U.S. Patent No. 2,609,666; Mesnheger, U.S.
Patent No. 3,246,474; Imbertson, et al, U.S. Patent No. 3,355,851; Renfro, U.S.
Patent No. 3,465,530; Tabor, U.S. Patent No. 3,834,167; Hornbostel, Jr., U.S. Patent
No. 3,373,568; Hepworth, et al, U.S. Patent No. 3,957,098; Suga, et al, U.S. Patent
No. 4,279,540; Muramatsu, et al, U.S. Patent No. 4,299,514; Tsuiji, et al, U.S.
Patent No. 4,314,774; Clem, U.S. Patent No. 4,501,788; Paoluccio, U.S. Patent
No. 4,555,201; Holmberg, U.S. Patent No. 4,690,585; Stevens, U.S. Patent No. 4,784,520;
and Brodersen, U.S. Patent No. 4,799,821. The above show various dam and barrier
configurations ranging from permanent to portable structures, including as shown
in Stevens and Brodersen, a structure for encircling a chemical or oil spill. Additionally,
a Swiss patent No. CH657,884 to Fure also shows a dam structure. A breakwater
structure is shown in a U.S. Patent to Sample, No. 4,729,691, that includes a plurality
of sand filled bags that are contained within an outer sleeve for serving as a
barrier in an erosion control system.
Additional to the above cited art, the present inventor has applied
for a U.S. patent in a "Method and Apparatus for Constructing Hydraulic Dams and
the Like", filed March 9, 1987, S.N. 07/023,693, that is still in prosecution,
that teaches water structures for arrangement as dams and the like. The connecting
sleeve of the present invention is intended for use with these water structures.
Neither the earlier invention of the present inventor nor the other cited patents
that involve dam structures provide, as does the present invention, a connecting
sleeve arrangement for joining water structure sections together end-to-end and
in angled relationships to one another.
A number of the above cited patents involve inflatable envelopes
as taught by the earlier application of the present inventor in a "Method and Apparatus
for Construction of Hydraulic Dams and the Like", and some even provide anchor
structures therewith. Such structures are suitable for a number of uses but they
are restricted as they either require anchors or must be permanently installed.
Most require extensive site preparation and a number even require a concrete bottom
and sidewalls in order to provide for support of the barrier, diminishing their
use as temporary structures.
Distinct from the above cited art, both the dam structure of the
earlier patent application of the present inventor and the connecting arrangement
of the present invention for joining water structure sections together provide
a low cost, easily constructed barrier that may be used with little or no site
preparation that can function as a dam breakwater, water course, for use in field
de-watering, and/or for many other purposes.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide
a system and its use for joining of water filled structure sections in end-to-end
or intersecting relationships for forming dams, breakwaters, and the like.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a connecting
sleeve and plug arrangement for joining water structure sections that will, when
a potentially damaging hydraulic force is applied, tend to break at that juncture
releasing the hydraulic force before damage to the water structure sections can
Another object of the present invention is to provide a connecting
sleeve that includes a water filled plug independent of the water structure sections.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a connecting
sleeve arrangement for joining water structure sections whose height can be set
to below the level of the water structure sections for providing a spillway, or
the like, to pass a water flow thereover.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a connecting
sleeve arrangement that is also useful for joining tubular water structure sections
at an angle into another structure formed from other water structure sections.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a connecting
sleeve arrangement for joining water filled tubular water structure sections to
one another, that is easy to both install and maintain, and can be installed with
minimum to no site preparation.
The present invention is in connecting sleeve arrangements for joining
tubular water structure sections into a dam, or like water containing structure.
The tubular water structure sections are each at least a plurality of closed and
water filled sleeves or bags contained within an outer bag or sleeve. The water
filled bags once filled interacting to prohibit rolling or other displacing movement
responsive to application of a hydraulic force thereagainst. So arranged, a dam
made up of the water filled water structure sections is useful for providing a
barrier to contain water.
The present invention is in a connecting sleeve arrangement for joining
tubular water structure sections end-to-end into a dam, or to join them at intersecting
angles to separate areas for de-watering, or the like. Each water structure section
is an arrangement of a plurality of water filled sleeves that are closed at their
ends and are themselves contained within an outer sleeve or envelope. The connecting
sleeve of the present invention is for joining the water structure sections end-to-end
or at angles into one another. Each connecting sleeve arrangement consists of an
open sleeve with a water filled plug contained therein. The plug is either an
arrangement of a single water filled closed sleeve or bag or is a plurality of
closed water filled sleeves or bags that are contained in the open sleeve. The
water weight of the plug and the abutting water structure sections holding the
assembly in place. Which connecting open sleeve may be appropriately laterally
center scored to provide for its breaking when a hydraulic force is applied thereto,
as could be sufficient to damage the water structure sections. The connecting
sleeve plug can be filled with liquid to a level that is below the level of the
adjacent water structure sections, presenting a lower profile. So arranged, the
connecting sleeve arrangement will function as an overflow or spillway. Further,
the connecting sleeve can be utilized to connect water structure sections at angles
to one another, the one abutting and sealing against the other as for separating
an area for de-watering.
The preferred connecting sleeve arrangement is an open sleeve that
is formed from a material like that used to form the water structure sections.
In practice a flexible polyethylene plastic tube manufactured by Armin Plastics,
that has a range of wall thickness of four (4) to ten (10) millimeters has been
used successfully for this application. The open sleeve may or may not be centrally
laterally scored for providing breakaway and is preferably filled with one or
more water filled closed sleeves or bags. The connecting sleeve arrangement of
the present invention allows water structure sections to be joined together into
longer sections than would be practical if only single water structure sections
were used due to a potential for breakage or puncture of such single long structure.
The connecting sleeve arrangement provides for ease of repair of an existing dam
structure on a breach thereof, and allows for the construction of long dam or
other water directing or containing structures.
The present invention is also directed to a method whereby a ground
area is prepared to receive connected water structure sections that, prior to filling
with water, are fitted through open ends of a connecting sleeve arrangement that
contains a plug that will also be filled with water. The individual inner sleeves
within the water structure sections are then filled, as is the connecting sleeve
plug, the weight of the water in the water structure sections and plug resting
on the bottom surface of which connecting sleeve anchoring it in place, with the
water structure section ends abutting against the connecting sleeve plug, forming,
essentially, a continuous section. Further, the method of the present invention
involves a use of the connecting sleeve arrangement to join one end of a water
structure section into the side of another water structure section. This arrangement
involves fitting one end of the empty connecting sleeve containing a plug over
an empty water structure section end and laying another empty water structure
section across the other connecting sleeve arrangement end and then filling with
water the respective water structure sections and the connecting sleeve plug. A
number of such structures, spaced apart appropriately, each intersecting the first
water structure section can be used for separating an area into segments for de-watering.
The method of the present invention teaches the arranging of the water structure
sections with connecting sleeves that are then water filled to erect an appropriate
water containing structure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the drawings which illustrate that which is presently regarded
as the best mode for carrying out the invention:
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
- Fig. 1 is a frontal elevation view of a dam formed from water structure sections
connected end-to-end across a flow channel;
- Fig. 2 is a frontal elevation view showing the flow channel of Fig. 1, as including
a double layer of water filled water structure sections arranged thereacross as
- Fig. 3 is an end sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;
- Fig. 4 is an end sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of Fig. 2;
- Fig. 5 is a frontal elevation view of the water structure sections joined end-to-end
by a connecting sleeve arrangement of the present invention, the structure arranged
across a flow channel;
- Fig. 6 is a view like that of Fig. 5, except that the connecting sleeve arrangement
that joins the ends of the water structure sections is shown to be filled to a
lesser height than the adjacent water structure sections leaving a center flow
- Fig. 7 is a top plan view of a section portion of the dam of Fig. 5, with the
connecting sleeve shown as including a central lateral scoring therearound for
functioning as a breakaway collar and includes, as shown, in broken lines, a pair
of internal plugs abutting against ends of water filled inner sleeves of the water
- Fig 8 is a side elevation view of the connecting sleeve of Fig. 7, showing
the water structure sections inner sleeves formed by folding the ends thereof under
each inner sleeve, with the connecting sleeve shown as being stretched, illustrating
the water structure sections as having spread apart due to a hydraulic force applied
- Fig. 9 is a top plan view of the connecting sleeve arrangement of Figs. 5 through
8, showing one sleeve end as having received the end of an abutting water structure
section fitted therein, the connecting sleeve arrangement shown as including two
water filled plugs that have been filled through filler spouts, another water structure
section shown resting on the connecting sleeve other end, the respective water
structure sections forming right angles to one another;
- Fig. 10 is a view of two abutting water structure sections of Fig. 9, arranged
as parallel individual water barriers with a level of water shown held therebetween
as for separating a flooded area for de-watering;
- Fig. 11 shows a top plan view of the connecting sleeve arrangement coupling
ends of water structure sections, which connecting sleeve, in this embodiment,
includes as a plug, a single closed sleeve or bag that is water filled to butt
against the ends of the filled water structure sections inner sleeves, and includes
a center filler spout for passing water into that plug; and
- Fig. 12 shows a side elevation view of the connecting sleeve arrangement of
Figs. 1 and 2 show water structure sections 10 that are arranged
as dams 11 across a water flow channel 12. The water structure section 10 forming
the dam 11 of Fig. 1, involves a single outer sleeve 13 that is shown in cross-section
in Fig. 3, as containing, in side-by-side relationship inner sleeves 14 and 15.
The inner sleeves 14 and 15 are each shown as filled with a liquid that should
be understood to be water. The dam 11 is shown as holding back a head of water
16. In Fig. 1, the water structure section 10 is anchored at its ends 17a and
17b to the water flow channel sides, which ends are shown as filler spouts. While
a water structure consisting of an outer sleeve 13 containing only two water filled
inner sleeves 14 and 15 is shown, it should be understood that more than two inner
sleeves, each water filled, and stacked, as for example into a pyramid shape, may
be arranged within the single outer sleeve as a water structure section 10.
Fig. 2 shows separate water structure sections 10 arranged in side-by-side
and in layers as a two tiered dam 11. The dam 11 of Fig. 2 is shown in Fig. 4,
holding back the head of water 16. A top water structure section 10 of the dam
11 of Fig. 4, is shown as having had the sleeve ends folded thereunder, the inner
sleeves to be filled with water through filler spout 18.
Fig. 4 shows a side elevation sectional view of the water structure
sections 10 of the dam 11 of Fig. 2, as including a pair of inner sleeves 14 and
15, respectively, that are each filled with water and are contained in side-by-side
relationship, within an outer sleeve 13. Though, of course, more than two such
water filled inner sleeves can be utilized contained within the outer sleeve 13,
that can be single, double or even triple layered, can be arranged as a water
structure section 10 within the scope of this disclosure. The liquid movement within
the respective filled inner sleeves 14 and 15 tends to fill the available space,
the weight of the filled inner sleeves preventing rolling or other movement even
when a hydraulic force is applied thereagainst, as illustrated as water levels
16 in Figs. 3 and 5. The water structure section 10 inner sleeves 14 and 15 may
also be double or triple layered and are preferably formed by folding sleeve ends
under themselves, on one or both ends, closing the sleeve before water is introduced
therein. Which water introduction expands the inner sleeves 14 and 15 into a tight
filling engagement with the inside wall of the outer sleeve 13.
Essentially the water structure section 10, as described above, is
set out in the aforementioned earlier patent application S.N. 07/023,693, filed
March 9, 1987, of the present inventor. Which water structure section 10 can be
used to form a number of liquid containing structures additional to the dams 11
of Figs. 1 through 4. The present invention recognizes the versatility of the water
structure section for creating barriers and is directed to providing sleeve coupling
arrangements for joining water structure sections together into different water
Figs. 5 and 6, show a first embodiment of a connecting sleeve arrangement
21 shown joining water structure sections 20 in end-to-end relationship. Fig. 5
shows two water structure sections 20 arranged across the same flow channel 12,
that was illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2. Which water structure sections 20 are preferably
like those shown in Figs. 3 and 4. It should, however, be understood that the water
structure sections 20 may further include, in addition to the side-by-side arrangement
of filled inner sleeves 14 and 15, additional filled sleeves stacked within the
single outer sleeve 13. For purposes of this discussion, however, the water structure
sections are shown as a pair of water filled inner sleeves having closed ends and
contained within and essentially filling outer sleeve 13. In practice, a sleeve
or tube manufactured from a flexible polyethylene plastic material, manufactured
by Armin Plastics, having a range of wall thickness of four (4) to ten (10) millimeters,
of appropriate diameter has been utilized for forming the inner and outer sleeves,
and the connecting sleeve and plug of the invention as described herein below,
which tube or sleeve may be doubled or tripled, one tube or sleeve fitted within
the other, effectively doubling or tripling wall thickness, within the scope of
Fig. 5 shows a dam formed of water structure sections 20 that are
joined end-to-end utilizing connecting sleeve 21. The water structure section ends
20a, are shown in broken lines, abutting against a plug arrange within which connecting
sleeve. Also, shown are filler spouts 22 that extend through the sleeve 21 for
filling the inner sleeves of water structures 20. While not shown in Figs. 5 and
6, it should be understood, that the connecting sleeve 21 preferably includes
one or more water filled plugs, as illustrated in Figs. 7 through 12, that are
filled through filler spouts, as set out hereinbelow.
Fig. 6 shows the dam arrangement of Fig. 5 except that the connecting
sleeve 21 is shown as having been underfilled leaving a depression at 21a for acting
as a spillway, or the like, allowing a water flow thereover.
Figs. 7 and 8 show an enlarged sectional view of the water structure
sections 20 coupled at their ends 20a by connecting sleeve 21. It should be understood
that connecting sleeve 21 is preferably a sleeve formed of a material like that
of the outer sleeve 13 of the water structure sections, and also may be double
or triple layered. The water structure section ends each contact ends of a pair
of water filled plugs 24 and 25 that are contained within the connecting sleeve
21. Water structure sections 20 of this embodiment are preferably like the water
structure section 10 shown in Fig. 3, each consisting of side-by-side inner sleeves
14 and 15 contained within an outer sleeve 13, which inner sleeves 14 and 15 include
filler spouts 22 that, as shown in Figs. 5 through 8, extend through the sleeve
21 for filling with water. Also, filler spouts 26 and 27 are shown fitted through
the connecting sleeve 21 for filling plugs 24 and 25 with water. It should be
obvious, that the filler spouts 22 can be located along the inner sleeves or at
the opposite inner sleeve ends within the scope of this disclosure.
The connecting sleeve 21, is shown as having been laterally scored
at 23, this scoring indicates that the sleeve has been weakened thereat to separate
when a hydraulic pressure is applied thereto of sufficient force to damage the
water structure sections 20. Such hydraulic force would break or tear the connecting
sleeve 21, releasing the plug or plugs therefrom opening the water containing structure.
Such splitting would be in lieu of damage to the water structure sections. Accordingly,
the connecting sleeve 21, additional to functioning as a coupling, acts as a safety
release arrangement should a potentially damaging hydraulic force be applied thereto.
Figs. 9 and 10 show another application of water structure sections
and connecting sleeve 21 of the present invention. Shown in Fig. 9, a water structure
section 31 is connected at its end 31a into abutting engagement, with another water
structure section 30. To provide this interconnection, one end of the connecting
sleeve 21, prior to filling, receives the water structure section end 31a therein,
with the other connecting sleeve end arranged beneath the water structure section
30. So arranged, on filling of the respective water structures 30 and 31 and connecting
sleeve plugs, the connecting sleeve 21 will be locked in place under water structure
section 30. The water structure section 31 end 31a is thereby maintained in abutting
relationship to the side of water structure section 30. Shown in Figs. 9 and 10,
a right angle is formed between the respective water structure sections 30 and
31, though it should be understood, the angle of intersection could be other than
a right angle within the scope of this disclosure.
Similar to the water structure section connection, as described hereinabove
with respect to Figs. 7 and 8, the connecting sleeve 21 fitted to the end of water
structure section 31, includes the described individual sleeves 14 and 15 that
are filled through the filler spouts 22, that are then tied off or otherwise secured
to retain water. Should a hydraulic force be applied against the water structure
sections 30 or 31, as could damage one or both, the connecting sleeve 21 is preferably
scored as described, or otherwise arranged to shear before damage occurs to the
water structure sections. Fig. 10 shows an example of a configuration of a water
structure section 30, with spaced apart parallel water structure sections 31 intersecting
the sides thereof. This configuration is useful for isolating a water filled area,
holding back water on either side thereof for de-watering, or the like.
While the pair of plugs 24 and 25 are preferably included within
connecting sleeve 21, as set out above, the connecting sleeve could consist in
some applications, of the open sleeve only with the ends of the individual water
structure sections expanding therein against one another. However, to provide a
dam structure that exhibits essentially a uniform water retaining capability thereacross,
with individual water structure sections joined in end-to-end relationship, it
is required that a plug of at least one water filled closed sleeve or bag be included
within the connecting sleeve 21.
Hereinabove, the connecting sleeve 21 is shown as including a pair
of plugs 24 and 25 each filled through filler spouts 26 and 27, respectively. Figs.
11 and 12 show another plug arrangement. Fig. 11 shows two water structure sections
40, each having ends 40a, that are connected by connecting sleeve 21. Which connecting
sleeve 21, includes, as a plug, a single closed compartment 45 that is filled with
water through a filler spout 46. With the water structure section ends 40a fitted
within the connecting sleeve 21, both of the water structure section internal sleeves
14 and 15, as shown in Figs. 11 and 12, can be filled through the respective filler
spouts 22, with the connecting sleeve 21 plug 45 filled through filler spout 46.
All of which filler spouts are shown s extended through the connecting sleeve 21,
illustrated best in Fig. 11. In practice, to form the plug 45 the ends 45a of
an open sleeve can be folded thereunder, forming a closed compartment, as shown
in Fig. 12. With the arrangement of the plug ends 45a, respectively folded under
the sleeve body, and by then filling that sleeve with water, through the filler
spout 46, the weight of that water will seal off the sleeve ends 45a forming the
The arrangement of the present invention is, as set out in the above
described, in a connecting sleeve and plug or plugs, for connecting water structure
sections to form water containing structure. As described, the connecting sleeve
21 open sleeve can be centrally scored or otherwise weakened, as described to
split on application of hydraulic force of sufficient magnitude as could damage
the water structure sections.
Hereinabove been set out preferred configurations of water structure
sections 10 and connecting sleeves 21 for joining the described water structure
sections together. To form the water structure sections, an open tube or sleeve
that is to become the outer sleeve 13, is rolled out and receives the pair of
inner sleeves 14 and 15 all of which may be double or triple layered for strength,
as required. The inner sleeves 14 and 15 are initially opened therethrough and
their ends are either closed by folding them underneath the sleeve, prior to water
being introduced therein, or one or both of the sleeve ends are bunched together
into filler spouts. Accordingly, the water structure sections can be conveniently
formed in the field by selecting tubes or sleeves of appropriate diameter to serve
as the respective outer sleeve 13 and inner sleeves 14 and 15. Thereafter, the
inner sleeves are filled with water and expand into close fitting engagement with
the inside of which outer sleeve 13. Which filling can be through a bunched sleeve
end or through a separately installed filler spout like that shown at 22 in Figs.
7 and 8. In the laying out for end-to-end coupling of the water structure sections,
the water structure section ends are individually fitted into ends of the connecting
sleeves 21. Which connecting sleeves can be formed o the same material as are the
water structure sections inner and outer sleeves 14, 15 and 13, respectively. Plugs
are preferably arranged in the connecting sleeves to separate the water structure
end as by folding ends of an open sleeve into a bag for filling with water when
the water structure sections inner sleeves are filled. The connecting sleeve 21
as described, either includes a double sleeve 24 and 25, as the plug or is a single
sleeve plug 45. The water structure section inner sleeves and the connecting sleeve
plug, when filled with water, both expand against the inner wall of the outer
sleeve 13 and connecting sleeve 21, respectively and against one another, providing
a continuous water filled barrier.
Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and
described herein, it should be understood that the present disclosure is made by
way of example only and that variations are possible within the scope of this disclosure
without departing from the subject matter coming within the scope o the following
claims and reasonable equivalency thereof, which claims I regard as my invention.