The Floating Cover: Best Way to Cover a Finished-Water Reservoir—

by Eugene E. Dallaire, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1975, Vol. 45, Issue 6, Pg. 75-79

Document Type: Feature article


With the increased attention being given to drinking-water quality in recent years, many states have been pressuring towns and cities to cover their open, finished-water reservoirs. Years ago, the only way to cover an earthen reservoir was with some type of column-supported rigid roof? a costly solution. In the past few years, a promising and much cheaper solution has matured — the floating cover. This is basically a plastic or rubber membrane that floats on the water surface. Many cities have already covered their open reservoirs with such covers; this article describes why and how several communities installed floating covers. Yet, even a floating cover can be costly for a large reservoir, as some reluctant communities are pointing out. For those communities that can not afford to cover their reservoirs, the state of Washington will accept certain measures as an alternative — putting a fence around the reservoir, chlorinating water as it leaves the reservoir(post-chlorination), etc.

Subject Headings: Reservoirs | Drinking water | Columns | Roofs | Plastics | Membranes | Water surface | Fences | Washington | United States

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