When an overflowing river began to flood footpaths a flood action group realised sandbags would be way to heavy to carry to the scene in the Berkshire countryside.
Fortunately Pang Valley Flood Forum has a stock of FloodSax 'sandless' sandbags which are far easier to transport, store and deploy so the group used them to save the footpaths and to also hold back water flowing across a water treatment works which was at risk of flooding a local property.
The reason why they are so easy to handle is that FloodSax resemble large pillowcases until they come into contact with water. The semi-porous inner liner within FloodSax contains a special gelling polymer with hundreds of absorbent crystals which absorbs up to 20 kilos of water. This causes them to expand until they resemble a traditional sandbag but in their dry state 20 fit into a cardboard box that one person can carry.
Forum chair Kay Lacey said: “We keep 100 FloodSax in stock for strategic deployment as they are easier to store than traditional sand and sandbags and are lightweight to carry.
“When the River Pang started to overtop and breach badly eroded banking we carried the FloodSax across fields to get them to the scene and we simply couldn’t have done that with heavy sandbags. The fact that FloodSax are so lightweight and portable was a definite benefit for that situation.
“FloodSax are an easily stored and easily handled flood prevention measure you can keep in your house and as our local district council do not distribute sandbags en masse we advise local residents that they need to be prepared in advance of flooding by having have their own measures to hand.”
The FloodSax have remained at the scene of the bank breach and the group has now put heavy sods of earth on top of them to build the banking back up, knowing that the FloodSax underneath are largely biodegradable.
The River Pang runs through 10 parishes near Reading in Berkshire and all the parishes are involved with Pang Valley Flood Forum along with West Berkshire Council, the Environment Agency and Thames Water.
Kay added: “Our forum helps both individual homeowners as well as parish councils to achieve improvements in flood resilience. We keep the agencies focused on the tasks required and hold them to account when things go wrong.
“Flooding will happen more often and more substantially in the future and it’s vital that voluntary groups like ours, where local knowledge can make all the difference, are encouraged to thrive and succeed.”
The forum is registered at the Charities Commission (CC) as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
FloodSax are widely used by local councils, flood action groups, homeowners and businesses as effective flood barriers to stop floodwater getting into homes and commercial properties.
Some councils recommend FloodSax (http://www.floodsax.co.uk/) alternative sandbags for flood protection which are a flexible alternative to traditional sandbags and are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.
More than 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.
To buy FloodSax go to http://www.floodsax.co.uk/buy/uk-suppliers