FLOODSAX alternative sandbags are being given to people in Singapore to save them from flooding.
They were distributed after a landslide blocked the Ulu Pandan Canal in the Clementi area of the city.
It will take time to fix the problem so homes and businesses above the blockage are being given FloodSax to protect them from flooding with heavy rains expected in September.
FloodSax have been used extensively in Singapore previously and a government minister has talked about the current emergency need for FloodSax which have been distributed by Singapore’s national water agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB).
Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Sim Ann said in a Facebook post: “PUB has started distributing flood protection devices such as portable barriers and inflatable flood bags to some of our residents in the Sunset Way area. This is because the amount of dislodged soil in Ulu Pandan Canal increases flood risk. It is good to be prepared.”
A PUB spokesman said: “With rainy weather expected in the first half of September the areas upstream of the canal blockage may experience higher flood risk in the event of heavy rain.
As a precautionary measure, PUB officers have started distributing inflatable floodbags and portable flood barriers to homes at Sunset Way and Sunset Drive. These flood protection devices can be set up quickly during heavy rain to prevent floodwaters from entering homes.”
FloodSax are used because they are far easier to store and deploy than traditional sandbags.
Before they come into contact with water FloodSax resemble large pillowcases and five are vacuum-packed into carrier bags. Twenty fit into a box that one person can easily carry whereas 20 traditional sandbags would need a pallet and a van to move anywhere.
Once FloodSax are immersed in water the gelling polymer inside them absorbs the water and the FloodSax expands to resemble a sandbag but its uniform size means it’s easier to move and build into temporary flood barriers.
FloodSax are also incredibly versatile and flexible. In their dry state they are very flat with a large surface area so can be slipped under pipes, boilers and kitchen sinks to soak up drips, leaks, spills and floods.
Almost 3 million have now been sold worldwide.
FloodSax were devised by Environmental Defence Systems Ltd based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK.
Managing director Richard Bailey said: “FloodSax are a British invention that’s made a major impact on flood prevention worldwide over the last 15 years.
“They are also used extensively in the USA, the Middle East, Australia and Europe.”