Alternatives to Sandbags: Why NOAQ Boxwall Is a Better Flood Protection Solution

Boxwall BW52 500mm mobile flood barrier

Has the weather forecast come again with the grim news of a potential flood? Is it time to take every action necessary to protect your valuable business? Do you wish there were better alternatives to sandbags? Then, you have come to the right place!

If your commercial / industrial or construction site is in a flood-prone area, preventing flood damage will undeniably be one of your main concerns. Well, in this case, the only option most people know is using sandbags for floods. But, they are messy, cumbersome, and hefty work that needs a lot of time, people, and effort to execute. 

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. 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. 

So, why do we stick to this conventional method that sounds troublesome in a time of crisis, especially when we have modern alternatives to sandbags? It’s time we upgrade for an innovative solution to protect our local businesses and industries.

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, quick and easy to clean and recover after the flood 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.

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

What’s The Deal with Flood Emergencies?

Floods can have a catastrophic impact on lives and properties. So, flood prevention is very important. 

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. If you want to mitigate these as much as possible, prevention is key.

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

Flood damage can bring a heavy capital loss for your business or organisation. 

It’s one of the reasons why many turn towards insuring their property against water damage. But, making a claim is a long and complex process. The cost of full coverage insurance is also exorbitant, and you will only be covered after ensuring that the cause of flooding in your area aligns with their definition of flooding. 

They 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 that will nip the problem in the bud! Insurance does not minimise flood damage. As the best alternative to sandbags flood control, 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? 

Weather patterns are changing dramatically every year

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.

noaq boxwall barriers for flooding deployed around commercial building
Noaq Boxwall deployed to prevent commercial building flooding

Mitigation is key to safeguarding your property.

As there’s no way for the flood water to sink on concrete roadways, the water remains stagnant. The damage to your properties can vary depending on the intensity of the flood. 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 for better alternatives to sand bags. 

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

Why Having a Good Flood Mitigation and Prevention System Is SO Important

As floods are becoming increasingly frequent, it’s paramount to adopt the best alternatives to sandbags flood control and safeguard your properties. Bluemont offers both permanent and temporary flood protection solutions.

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. If you didn’t have any flood prevention mechanism in place, floodwater can damage your property, appliances, and other goods in the building. 

You would have to redo the walls, refurbish the interior, and spend lots 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

Even if you manage to claim monetary compensation, flood damage can have many other impacts. 

Business owners, managers, employees go through a tough time both physically and psychologically when they work towards bringing things back to normal – even if they don’t express it openly. You have to put extra effort and work under such circumstances which takes a toll on productivity in the working environment.

So, commercial flood damage can entirely disrupt organisational activities that will eventually impact growth and development. So, the actual loss from flood damage is so much more than estimated! All of these emphasise the importance of having reliable flood protection barriers in place. 

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. They are an outdated method that doesn’t work very well.

How do sandbags stop flooding?

Sandbags are simply bags filled with sand. They are a DIY flood barrier that doesn’t completely prevent water from entering your premises. But, rightly filled and stacked sandbags and deployed with a waterproof membrane, sand bags can act as a flood barrier and divert water away from the site. 

You have to expect a higher level of seepage from sandbags when used for floods.

Why making sandbags is difficult

Preparing and deploying sandbags for floods is not complicated. But, it’s heavy 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. Then you have to remove the contaminated sand bag waste after the flood. The good news is there are better alternatives to sandbags for flooding!

What do they do with sandbags after a flood?

Sandbags are a one-off system. You have to dispose of them after use. This again poses many questions. Where are you going to dump them? How are you going to do it? How much can you spend on it?

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. But, they can easily be 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 really an environmentally friendly option. Even biodegradable burlap sandbags 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. 

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. For suburban street, 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 over $50,000!

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. 

Introducing NOAQ Boxwall: The Best Alternative to Sandbags for Flooding

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 NOAQ Boxwall is 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 uses the force of water to remain rigidly upright and divert floodwater away from your 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 the BW52 and BW102 shows that the NOAQ Boxwall fence barriers remain steady even when the water overflows at high flows.

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.

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

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 metres 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 gables 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. 

Yes, that’s it! You can store them compactly as they are stackable and use them when required again. 

Sandbags vs. Commercial Flood Barriers (NOAQ Boxwall)

SandbagsCommercial Flood Barriers
Not very effective in flood controlHighly effective in flood control with minimum seepage
It’s time-consuming to prepare sandbags and deploy them at the siteAll you need to do is click the NOAQ Boxwall units together!
Require many people as possible to prepare and build sandbag leveesTwo people can create a 100-meter floodwall in under 25 minutes using NOAQ Boxwall units.
Very heavy and difficult to handleEasily portable and very light
Sand bags for floods can only be used once.Reusable and long-lasting. Simple stack the units on top of each other to store!
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.

Other Solutions and Alternatives to Sandbags

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

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

If you prefer permanent fence barriers, FloodBreak automatic flood gate is a good choice. The self-closing flood barrier remains underground when not in use without interrupting the operations at the site.

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? Bluemont has got you covered. Contact us on +61 2 9091 0360 or email us at [email protected] for more information. We will help you map out the best solutions for your exact needs.