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Turbidity Curtain for Containment and Water Pollution Control

A turbidity curtain is a water barrier that prevents sediment and debris from migrating into open water around shorelines and construction projects.

Turbidity curtains trap sediment to prevent downstream pollution in the water similar to the way silt fence traps sediment and releases filtered water on land. These water barriers are used for more than just silt and sediment control though.

Use Turbidity Curtains to contain marine life, logs, trash, debris and hazardous material. Turbidity Curtains also provide diversion around marine construction projects and oil spills.

Types of Turbidity Curtain

The water conditions determine which type of curtain your construction project needs.

Type I

Type I Turbidity Curtains are intended for calm water that is sheltered from wind and waves. Type I curtains are ideal for protected areas like lakes, ponds and canals.

Type II

Type II Turbidity Curtains can withstand greater wave action. Install these curtains in rivers, streams and lakes with slow to moderate currents up to 2 knots or 3.5 feet per second. Type II curtains can withstand some moderate wind and wave action.

Type III

Type III Turbidity Curtains are designed for fast water. Install these curtains in areas where there is a considerable current, up to 3 knots or 5 feet per second. Select a Type III curtain if the body of water is tidal or is commonly subjected to wind and wave action.

Custom Made Turbidity Curtains

Turbidity curtains are made to order per plan specifications.

Every curtain has a floating device that floats at the water line and a skirt that extends from the float to the floor of the body of water. Water conditions determine which type (Type I, Type II, Type III) of curtain you need but the curtain’s size, permeability, and features are also custom manufactured to meet your project’s specifications.


Most turbidity curtains are manufactured in 50 foot or 100 foot sections. Connect each section together with the heavy-duty galvanized clip included on the floating device.

The length of the curtain’s skirt is custom-fabricated to meet your site specifications. Most skirts are either 3 feet or 5 feet long, however, other sizes are available.


The Turbidity Curtain’s material determines the permeability of the product.


In most containment and barrier applications, the specified curtain is Impervious. An Impervious Turbidity Curtain is manufactured from PVC coated polyester. This material contains silt and to prevents material flow through.


For ‘flow through’ applications, a Pervious Turbidity Curtain is required. These curtains are manufactured from woven geotextile fabric. This curtain allows water to flow through while retaining most silt and sediment.

Additional Features

For hazardous spills and marine clean-up projects, additional features may be required. These additional features include:

  • Oil containment booms
  • Marker lights
  • Buoys
  • Anchor Systems

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Contact our sales team to get started.

If you know the custom Turbidity Curtain you need, include the Type, Size, Permeability and Additional Features you might need.

If you’re not sure what curtain you need, our team can help. We’ll discuss your site conditions, read plans and provide a quote for material.

Turbidity Curtain in Hell's Creek

Project Feature: Sandbridge Bridge Replacement

An Impervious Turbidity Curtain contained sediment and debris in Hell’s Creek during this bridge reconstruction project in Virginia Beach.

Learn More About Turbidity Curtains

Learn how to install and inspect a turbidity curtain plus download specifications and resources.

For best results, follow these installation instructions and inspection guidelines.

Leave turbidity curtain skirt tied to floats as delivered.

Lay out sections end-to-end.

Attach ends with 1/4 inch nylon rope or heavy-duty zip ties, and the included hooks. (If you have a Type III, there will be another hook in the middle of the skirt.)

Secure one end on land.

Tow the remaining sections into the water. The amount of sections towed at one time depends on conditions, experience, amount of workers, equipment, etc.

Once it is towed into position and anchored in place, release the skirt from the floats.

To remove turbidity curtain, raise the skirt and secure before towing to minimize damage. Relocating the curtain without raising the skirt may cause significant damage to the skirt.

Download Installation Instructions

Download Installation and Removal Instructions

Ensure the anchoring systems are holding and the lines are not damaged or chafed.

Ensure any heavy debris is clear of curtain, as this could result in damage or submerging of curtain.

Inspect visible hardware above the waterline and(shackles/cables) repair if needed.

Inspect the fabric (tears, chafing etc.) and repair if needed.

If reefing lines have been installed, pull them to ensure the curtain is not resting on the bottom. Adjust them as needed to ensure the curtain is approximately 1’ off the water bottom. This is to ensure curtain will not get buried on the bottom from silt generated.

Download Inspection Guidelines

Type I Impervious Specification
Type I Pervious Specification
Type II Impervious Specification
Type II Pervious Specification
Type III Impervious Specification
Type III Pervious Specification

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