Turbidity Curtains

Turbidity Curtains & Silt Curtains

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A turbidity curtain, also commonly referred to as a turbidity barrier, silt barrier or a silt curtain, is used to contain turbidity (sediment and silt) that is stirred up by construction activities taking place in or near bodies of water, dredging operations and rainwater runoff. ABASCO floating turbidity curtains have a series of continuous flotation elements along its top and a fabric skirt hanging below the floats.

The skirt is typically long enough to be within one foot of the bottom and can be used to contain various turbidity. Turbidity curtains & silt curtains are usually made in lengths of 25, 50 or 100 ft and those section are joined to make one continuous containment barrier that encloses a worksite. These silt curtains also come in three different types, which are all dependent on different applications and environmental variables. Our turbidity control specialists will help you conform to all regulations and requirements that might apply to your project, including the Clean Water Act, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and state (DOT) and local regulations.

Types of Turbidity Curtains

Learn More About ABASCO Turbidity Curtains & Silt Curtains


ABASCO turbidity curtains include features for various applications. Our materials are of the highest quality and feature reinforcement of all highly stressed areas. We also have furling systems that assist with easy deployment and retrieval. Our specialists will help you select the appropriate curtain grade as well as the optimum installation design for your project, using the following criteria:

  • Site conditions and hydrodynamic regime:
    • wind
    • waves
    • current
    • water depth
    • tides or other changes in water level
    • bottom geometry
    • bottom composition
  • Project duration
  • Type of material in suspension

Construction Use

ABASCO turbidity barriers are the ideal solution for any type of construction project, including:

  • Dredging
  • Bridge construction
  • Dam removal and restoration
  • Marina/harbor projects (bulkheads, piers, retaining walls)
  • Port and terminal projects (groins, dikes, breakwaters)
  • Ferry landings
  • Pipeline crossings
  • Coastal and shoreline restoration and rehabilitation
  • Intake construction

Uses for Turbidity Curtains & How They Work

  • Construction sites can cause silt, or the dirt sediments to move throughout the air and eventually land in the surrounding water areas. The turbidity curtain sits in the water and stops silt, dirt, or debri from continuing past the barrier. Eventually, the sediment settles to the bottom.
  • Turbidity curtains can also be used in environmental remediation to prevent toxic chemicals and heavy metals from leaving the worksite.
  • Turbidity barriers work to control the release of organics in the water column, which at a concentrated levels can be toxic to marine life.

There is also an option to use filtered fabric that lets water pass through, but not the sediment that is contained. These fabrics are the same quality as general turbidity curtains, but using a filtering fabric allows for the exchange of water between each side of the barrier. This can help maintain oxygen levels and prevents the water inside the turbidity curtain from becoming stagnant.

Oil Containment

Construction sites can also create hydrocarbons due to dredging operations. In this case, turbidity curtains should be lined with oil sorbent booms parallel to the curtain. This can be anchored directly to the turbidity curtain and will absorb the hydrocarbons before they can reach the curtain.

If there is a possibility of a great amount of hydrocarbons that could be released, it would be beneficial to have a line of oil containment booms inside the turbidity curtain enclosure. ABASCO’s oil containment booms paired with turbidity curtains creates the optimal situation for your construction site.


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