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Berm system

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Title: Berm system.
Abstract: A berm system for retaining water in flood areas and erosion prevention means against wind and wave action and the like. The berm system basically is obtained of high density polyethylene defining a front side portion, a rear side portion and a top; at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction; and a means for holding the berm in place at the center and lap joints. The berm system is adapted for use in conjunction with existing or built earth/sand berms or can also be used on its own without any further earth/sand berm for barrier against flood, or erosion resulting from wind and/or wave action. The berm system is simple and cost effective and can be installed very fast in various flood areas as well as regions requiring erosion control. ...


- Washington, DC, US
Inventor: James McDonald
USPTO Applicaton #: #20080219772 - Class: 405107 (USPTO) - 09/11/08 - Class 405 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20080219772, Berm system.

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Berm    PRIORITY CLAIM

This is a non-provisional of provisional patent application No. 60/893,491, filed on Mar. 7, 2007, and priority is claimed thereto.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a system for retaining water in shallow flood areas and in particular to a berm system for retaining water in flood areas and erosion prevention means against wind and wave action and the like. The berm system of the invention is adapted for use in conjunction with existing or built earth/sand berms or can also be used on its own without any further earth/sand berm for barrier against flood, or erosion resulting from wind and/or wave action. The berm system is simple and cost effective and can be installed very fast in various flood areas as well as regions requiring erosion control.

BACKGROUND ART

It is well known to use movable flood barriers in flood-affected regions and variety of such barrier systems are known and proposed in the art.

U.S. Pat No. 5,118,217, issued to Joseph F. Younes on Jun. 2, 1992, shows a moveable flood barrier comprising a permanent channel in the path of expected floodwaters and are normally closed by a removable cover. The barrier consists of a series of units dimensioned to be removable seated in the channel and detachably interconnected. Each unit includes at least one panel disposed to face flood waters and a reinforcement to which the panel or panels are attached. The junctions between panels are sealed and seals extend lengthwise of the barrier and are secured to the panels thereto and detachably secured to the panels thereto and detachably secured to the channel wall first in the path of the flood waters. If required, a brace for each unit is detachably secured thereto and to a permanent normally covered socket on the leeward side of the channel.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,320,455, issued to The Tenser Corporation on Jun. 14, 1994, discloses a facing panel added to a surface of a geocell, on an outboard face of the cell, exposed to free water forces. The facing panel is filled with either stone, concrete, wooden boards, plastic sheets or steel sheets. In concrete usage, synthetic drainage is introduced to prevent the buildup of hydrostatic pressures behind the facing panel. The facing panel creates the ability to construct vertical retaining walls by stacking geocell units on top of each other and then filling a facing panel with either stone or concrete for a complete wall face. The geocell units are filled with sand or shell as retained in the geocells by geotextile liners. Circular geocells also retain fill in a geotechnical structure. Circular compartments are formed by connecting plastic mesh material at points on the compartment circumference, thus producing a cylindrical confinement of granular fill. The geotechnical structure thus formed may be used in a variety of applications such as bulkheads, vertical walls, wave breaks, the side of an artificial island, confinement berms, and columns to support vertical loads.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,470,177, issued to Christopher T. Hughes on Nov. 28, 1995, discloses a barrier wall for containment of flood waters composed of multiples of modules which are easily transported to the site and erected without tools, by only a few persons with no special skills or training. Flexible coversheets, having foam seals, which conform the modules to the ground and prevent floodwaters from undercutting the ground and rendering the wall unstable, are placed on the ground. Compartmented flexible ballast cell units are placed on the cover sheets just over the seals. The edges of the coversheets are coupled together as are the ends of the ballast cell units for continuity of the wall. The ballast cells can then be filled with water, sand, earth, gravel or other available material and the front portions of the cover sheets brought up and over the ballast cells to form a wall. An additional tier can be added to double the height of the wall. When waters are expected to rise higher than twice the height of the cells, one tier of ballast cell units is used lightweight support trusses are positioned in the ballast cells before they are filled. Connectors and guy wires add stability to the trusses. The front portions of the cover sheets are then brought up and fastened to the tops of the trusses on the side facing the floodwaters. Rigid armor plate sections can be placed over the cover sheets to protect them from being damaged by floating debris. The front edges of the trusses form a catenary curve, which defines the face of the wall and serves to transmit the force of the water downward reinforcing the seal to the ground. Any number of modules can be used and will conform to the terrain.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,439,316, issued to Cecil A. Robinson on Aug. 8, 1995, proposes a reusable flood barrier to erect reusable flood barrier banks. The flood barrier comprises (a) a front panel having a front face, a rear face, a top edge, a pair of side edges, and a base; (b) a rear support attached to the rear face of the front panel to prop the front panel base, and (c) an elongated clamp removably and adjustably affixed to the front face of the front panel. The clamp has an edge disposed proximate and substantially parallel to each side edge of the front panel respectively. The clamp is capable of anchoring a long edge of an elongated interconnection gasket. The gasket is capable of placement over the gap between a side edge of the front panel of a first flood barrier and an abutting side edge of the front panel of an adjacent flood barrier. The anchoring action of the clamp on adjacent flood barrier front panels enables the gasket to provide a water seal between the front panels.

JP Application No. 09001536A2, issued to Tokyo Seiko Co. Ltd on Jan. 7, 1997, is directed to solve the problem of connecting each of adjacent flood control sack bodies definitely by setting a lower communication member and an upper communication member which are mounted on a sack main body of flood control sack bodies which are adjacent each other so that they may be engaged with each other. The application proposes provision of a specified number of floor control sack bodies laid out in series. Lower hoses and upper hoses corresponding to their adjacent sack bodies, are engaged and fixed with connectors, thereby forming flood control sack bodies having a specified length. An outlet pipe of a drain pump is connected to the lower hoses, which are positioned at one end of a protective wall. The protective wall is placed in the flow of flood in the direction.

JP Application No. 2001246009, issued to Nohmi Bosai, Ltd. on Sep. 11, 2001, is directed to form a water barrier for preventing a flood by taking water to be stopped from an intake port into a water barrier bag body formed of a flexible sheet and comprising the intake port and a vent port, and using the water as weight. According to this method, the preliminary preparation of water or earth forming the weight or heavy matter is dispensed with and therefore in the formation of the water barrier, it is not necessary to ensure the weight or heavy matter such as earth or water may not be ensured in an emergency water disaster. Further, since the forming material of the water barrier is lightweight and foldable, water stopping treatment can be rapidly performed in all water stopping places, and the removing work of the wall barrier is also facilitated.

JP Application No. 11013608, issued to Niigata Eng Co., Ltd on Jan. 19, 1999, is based on the problem to provide an aquatic life-living revetment structure capable of making flood control in the areas of the sea in rivers, lakes, marshes and seashores and, at the same time promoting the living of aquatic lives to protect an ecosystem on the shore. A brushwood gabion used for a living place of aquatic lives is provided between mounted to a riverside and a revetment wall constructed along the fill, and flowing holes used for channels making streams connected to the brushwood gabion and at the same time, used for passages of aquatic lives are formed in the revetment wall. By the constitution, sufficient strength is given to revetment works, aquatic lives such as fish, crabs, shrimps, aquatic insects, etc., enter the inside of the brushwood gabion through the flowing holes to use it as the living place, and the preservation of an ecosystem on the shore can be kept.

WO 01/71100 A1, by Holger Schalike on Sep. 27, 2001, discloses a flood protection device that is easy to store, transport and use without complications. To this end the inventive device is configured as a container that can be filled with a fluid and that has preferably flexible, liquid and/or fluid—tight interlinked outer walls defining at least one compartment.

WO 03/100175 A1, by Alojz Hanoziak on Dec. 4, 2003, teaches the provision of a mobile wall for flood protection of residential and industrial objects and territories consisting of at least two reinforcement beams, between which is fastened water—impermeable foil in such a way that its lower edge overlaps the lower footing of the reinforcement beams.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,672,799 B2, issued to Dennis Earl Milan on Jan. 6, 2004, is directed to a further system for reducing damaging wave action, preventing beach erosion, directing water in flood areas, and providing highway barriers for guidance and safety. Durable flat panels are connectable at their edges and are of appropriate shape and dimension to be quickly and simply assembled and secured into a closed hollow prismatic module configuration. A dense fill material is loaded onto the bottom panel prior to closure providing mass for strength and stability against impacts. The flat panels may be hinge ably interconnected and foldable to optionally form a compact stackable configuration for storage and transport. A multiplicity of such modules may be positioned and connected to form a continuous massive wall for the above said purposes.

It would be apparent from the above that while there are several varieties of flood prevention barriers proposed in the art, there is a continuing need for improvement in such barrier/prevention systems so as to favor easy and faster installation of such systems for effective end use/application. Importantly, it need to be ensured that while providing for the swift and easy nature of its installation the systems should be stable and does not wash away or carried away by the force of the water/wind to be acted against. Moreover, considering the conventional and readily used system of earthen berms for flood control and the like it is important to provide berm systems which can be possibly also used in conjunction with such earthen berms to add strength and stability to the conventional sand/earth berms.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is thus the basic object of the present invention to provide a berm system which can be used either in conjunction with conventional sand/earth berms or independently on its own and adapted for simple and easy installation for retaining water in shallow flood areas and/or favor preventing erosion from wind and wave action. Another object of the present invention is to provide a berm system, which would be adapted for use as a berm shell, which can be, placed as an effective shield for existing sand/earthen berms thereby enhancing the proper and effective use/application of such conventional earthen berms.

Another object of the present invention is directed to provide for a berm system, which would be capable of holding water long enough before settling into natural water.

Yet another object of the present invention is directed to provide for a berm system having means for allowing for steady flow of water release in case the water builds up a certain height avoiding collapse/failure of the berm system.

Yet further object of the present invention is providing for a berm system, which would be portable and favor setting up of the berms in relatively simple and convenient manner vis-à-vis the conventional sand/earthen berms.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a berm system, which can be used along with other water barrier/prevention systems to facilitate more effective and controlled retention of water and/or erosion control.

Yet further object of the present invention is directed to a faster alternative to the usually available other berms presently in use which would be adopted for faster and easier long term application for uses in flood control, erosion prevention and the like.

Yet further object of the present invention is to provide a berm system, which would be adapted for inspection from the top.

Yet further object of the present invention provide for a berm system involving effectively securing plurality of berms and adapted for continued and multiple use of the same to enable desired flexibility and desired coverage.

Yet further object of the present invention is directed to a flood prevention system involving plurality of berms wherein the lap joints of the berms could be protected to control or prevent water seepage thereby adding to the beneficial application/use of such berms.

Yet further object is to provide for a berm system which would (i) not easily wash away, (ii) provide for installation of multiple berms in line in relatively short time involving less labor and equipment vis-à-vis conventional berms (iii) allow control water flow and create a detention ponding effect to allow water to be absorbed into the ground water system.

Yet further object of the present invention is directed to provide for a berm system which can be advantageously reused and replaced and would be simple and easy to maintain.

Thus according the basic aspect of the present invention there is provided a berm system for retaining water, erosion preventive means from wind and wave action and the like comprising:

a high-density polyethylene based berm structure defining a front side portion, a rear side portion and a top;

at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction means for holding the berm in place at the center and lap joints.

In accordance with a preferred aspect the berm system for retaining water, erosion preventive means from wind and wave action and the like comprises:

a high-density polyethylene based berm structure defining a front side portion, a rear side portion and a top;

at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction means for holding the berm in place at the center and lap joints;

drainage flume provided on only a part of the said top of the berm.

According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a berm system for retaining water, erosion preventive means from wind and wave action and the like comprising:

an existing and/or built earth or sand berm covered with geo-textile;

said earth/sand berm covered with at least one high density poly ethylene based berm structure defining a front side portion, a rear side portion and a top; at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction, connecting plurality of said high density poly ethylene based berm by lapping over previous sections and securing the same.

In accordance with a preferred aspect the berm system for retaining water, erosion preventive means from wind and wave action and the like comprises

an existing and/or built earth or sand berm covered with geo-textile;

said earth/sand berm covered with at least one high density poly ethylene based berm structure defining a front side portion, a rear side portion and a top; at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction, connecting plurality of said high density poly ethylene based berm by lapping over previous sections and securing the same;

drainage flume provided on only a part of the said top of the berm.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a berm system for retaining water, erosion preventive means from wind and wave action and the like comprising:

at least one high-density polyethylene based berm structure defining a front side portion, a rear side portion and a top; at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction; means for holding the berms in place at the center and at the lap joints.

In accordance with a preferred aspect the berm system for retaining water, erosion preventive means from wind and wave action and the like comprises

at least one high-density polyethylene based berm structure defining a front side, a rear side portion and a top; at least a part of said top of the berm adapted for traction; means for holding the berms in place at the center and at the lap joints;

drainage flume provided on only a part of the said top of the berm.

Importantly, the top comprise at least a roughened portion adapted for said traction and also adapted for lifting and positioning the berm for that purpose the top comprise a hole adapted for crane lifting of the berm.

In accordance with another aspect the laps are provided with rubber coating. Also, the berm system of the invention is adapted for any angular coverage/protection zone.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method for installing the berm system of the invention, which can be attended with or without any existing sand/earthen berm.

According to one aspect the method of retaining water, erosion prevention from wind/waves and the like comprises:

first covering the existing and/or built earth/sand berm with a geotextile fabric;

placing the high-density polyethylene based berm structure over the earth/sand berm;

lapping over the previous sections of the polyethylene based berm structure and anchoring with at least one anchoring means until the desired length is covered.

According to another aspect the method of retaining water, erosion prevention from wind/waves and the like comprises

placing at least one high density poly ethylene based berm structure and connecting via a link at the lap joints,;

placing sand bags at the center and at the lap joints for holding the berm in place.

According to a preferred aspect the method of installation of the berms involve provision of flume berms on only a part of the top used to control the water levels within the berm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING FIGURES

Details of the invention, its objects and the advantages are explained hereunder in greater detail in relation to non-limiting exemplary embodiments as per the accompanying figures wherein:

FIG. 1A is an end view of a 3″ high view;

FIG. 1B is a side view of the berm of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1C is a top view of the berm of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1D is an end view of a 5″ high berm:

FIG. 1E is a side view of the berm of FIG. 1D;

FIG. 2A is an end view of 3″ high berm with 145° section;

FIG. 2B is a top view of the berm of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2C is an end view of a 5″ high berm;

FIG. 3A is an end view of 3″ high berm;

FIG. 3B is a top view in a berm of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3C is an end view of the berm of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4A is an end view of 3″ high berm with flume;

FIG. 4B is a side view of the berm of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 4C is a top view of the berm of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 4D is an end view of a 5″ high berm with flume;

FIG. 4E is a side view of the berm of FIG. 4D.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Reference is first invited to FIGS. 1A to 1C which illustrated an embodiment of a 3″ high berm in accordance in the present invention. As shown in said figure the berm basically comprises of a high-density polyethylene based (HDPE) berm structure having front surface portion 10 and a rear surface portion 12 and a top 14. As clearly shown in the top view in FIG. 1C the top 14 is provided with a roughened surface which is specifically to provide traction when being walked upon. By way of such roughened top traction means, it is possible to favor walking on the top for inspection and the like purposes.

In order to favor easy and simple maneuverability of the berm system a crane hole 16 is provided on the top, which can be used to lift the berm by crane means for simple and easy transportation and installation.

Also as further illustrated in the top view the lap regions 18 are provided with rubber coatings. Such rubber coatings help in reducing or preventing water seepage.

FIGS. 1D and 1E show a 5″ high berm of the invention with the like feature as that of 3″ high berm of FIGS. 1A to 1C Reference in now invited to FIG. 2A to 2C, which illustrate another embodiment of the berm structure of the invention. As clearly apparent from the top view 145° section, shown in FIG. 2B, this berm structure also has the same constructional constitution as that of embodiments of FIGS. 1A to 1B. FIGS. 3A with 3D also show yet another embodiment of the berm system having substantially the same features as that of FIG. 1A to 1C. The various constructional features comprising the front surface portion 10 and rear surface portion 12, the top 14 having the crane hole 16 are all clearly illustrated in FIG. 3B showing the top view 165° section. Also the lapping regions 18 provided with rubber coating are also illustrated in the said figures. It should be understood that differences between the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1C, 2B, and 3C are not anything but the shape of the device—such that FIG. 1C is linear as seen from the top, FIG. 2B is angled at 145° as seen from the top, and FIG. 3B is angled at 165° as seen from the top. Thus, the various embodiments shown in FIGS. 1C, 2B, and 3C can be placed alongside one another to form linear and angled arrangements depending upon which of the various embodiments is placed adjacent to another of the various embodiments.

Reference is now invited to FIGS. 4A to 4E which show a further embodiment of the berm system in accordance with present invention. As shown in said figures, while in this embodiment as above, the front surface portion 10 and rear surface portion 12, the top 14 having the crane hole 16, are common like the earlier embodiments. In this embodiment, the top 14 is shown to have a drainage flume 20. Such a drainage flume is adopted to allow a steady flow of water to be released in case the water in the berm builds up to a certain height. Such a system provide for a venting means for the water in case the height exceeds a pre determined level. The remaining features of the berm comprising the crane hole 16 and lap regions 18 remain substantially the same as per the earlier embodiments.

It is thus possible by way of above disclose berm system of the invention to retain water in shallow flood areas or to prevent erosion from wind and wave action by way of a very convenient and fast to install berm system. The provision of the berm made of high density Polyethylene (HDPE) enables obtaining to the berm in various colors and need based shapes and configurations.

The berm would favor holding water long enough before it settles down into natural water and/or control dust in windy environments. The provision of the drainage flume 20 comprising of the upper part of the berm which favors water overflow out of the berm creating drainage. Such drainage flume is only necessary when there is a extremely high level of water.

Advantageously the top 14 of the berm is rough and for traction purposes and is intended for individuals to walk around. Accordingly the drainage flume 20 should be provided selectively such as not to cover the entire top 14 of the berm.

The method of installation of the berm of the invention which as discuss above can be done either in conjunction with existing/built earth or sand berm or can be used on its own is explained hereunder in greater detail.

Method of Installation of the Berm System in Conjunction with Sand Berms:

In this method first there is provided a newly built or an existing earth and sand berm. Thereafter the newly built or existing berm is covered with a water barrier system such as geotextile fabric. Finally the berm system of the present invention is placed on the water barrier system (preferably geotextile fabric), such that the berm system of the present invention is lapping over a short side of a previous section of berm of the present invention and anchored with sand bags or drive means until the desired length of the berm system is covered.

Method of Installation of the Berm System without the Earth or Sand Berm:

In this method the berm system of the invention on its own without the earthen dams is provided. The berms are then connected via a link such as a lap joint. Thereafter, sand bags are placed in the center, underneath/within the berm of the present invention, and atop the lap joint to assist in holding the berm system in placed.

The berm system thus obtained would be self sufficient in holding water back. If there is concern that the level and/or amount of water being retained by the present invention needs to be slightly dissipated, the drainage flume 20 can be used advantageously to control the water level being held by the berms—quite simply when the water reaches a height sufficiently above the height of drainage flume 20, then the water will flow over the berm of the present invention.

The berm system of the present invention is a faster and easier long-term solution to the standard earthen berms currently in use. The berm system is adapted for simple and easy maneuverability and installation . . . especially because of crane hole 16.

Importantly since the present invention is made of HDPE it is not subject to decay or being washed away like conventional earthen/sand berms. The berm system is adapted for installation of a large line of berms in relatively short time and involving less labor and equipment than other artificial berms vis-a-vis being placed atop earthen berms. Importantly, the berm system of the present invention is adapted to favor control of water flow and create a detention ponding effect to allow water to be absorbed in to the ground water system. The berm system is easily maintainable and allows for simple and easy reuse and replacement as and where needed.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20080219772 A1
Publish Date
09/11/2008
Document #
12044756
File Date
03/07/2008
USPTO Class
405107
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
02B3/04
Drawings
5




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