With extreme weather on the rise, more homeowners are dealing with the threats of flooding and how to prevent damage to their residences. Traditional flood protection calls for sandbagging, but there's another less labor-intensive alternative that has proven quite effective. AquaDams are large tubes made of fabric and plastic; when filled with water, they create a barrier that keeps floodwaters at bay.
It seems like a simple idea, but when a Texas homeowner discovered them online and purchased them to protect his home in 2016, his neighbors thought he was crazy. Randy Wagner drove all the way to Louisiana to collect the AquaDam and install it at his home. It took the help of two men to fill the device, but in the end, it was worth it. When the Brazos River flooded, his home was left dry.
“I was the crazy guy. Everybody was kinda going by, laughing at me. But today, they are really impressed with this AquaDam,” he told the local news at the time.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) June 10, 2016
Wagner spent $8,300 on the AquaDam, which he says was well worth it. “$8,300 is, to me, a small investment on a house that could have two feet of water in it and cost me $150,000 in repairs.”
The product was invented in the 1980s by David Doolaege, who came up with the initial concept by filling balloons in his bathtub. He placed two balloons inside a third, and when they were all filled, he realized that the shape prevented water seepage. After testing his theory on larger scales, AquaDam was born.
Now they are used not only by homeowners to prevent flood damage, but cities have installed them on the sides of highways to keep roads open during emergencies. Construction sites also use them to prevent environmental damage.
Thanks to Doolaege's innovation, homeowners like Wagner can keep floodwaters at bay without intensive labor.