Flood Protection Product Testing and Certification
The Non-Structural Floodproofing Committee and ASFPM staff have been working with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' National Non-Structural Flood Proofing Committee (which will do the barrier testing), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL, our potential certifying body) to establish a testing/certification program for temporary flood barriers. Significant work began at the 2002 National Floodproofing Conference, in Tampa, when representatives of the United Kingdom sought assistance with establishing a similar certification program in their country.
In spring 2005, UL agreed to conduct a Fact-Finding Investigation (FFI), in which they observed the Corps tests of a few products before committing to developing a certification program for temporary barriers. UL also identified procedures and tests of materials that it would require as part of a proposed certification program. ASFPM, UL and the Corps have developed the necessary contracts and have one product being tested in this system in the fall of 2006, with a second manufacturer having expressed interest. Much of the progress that was made between 2004 and 2006 should be credited to P.J. de Sousa Costa of FloodMaster Barriers, who chaired a subcommittee of flood protection products and services subcommittee of the FP/R committee during that time. Management of the project for ASFPM transferred from the committee to ASFPM Executive Office in fall, 2005.
During the course of these developments, FM Approvals (a division of FM Global, formerly known as Factory Mutual insurance) developed an approval system for recognizing temporary barriers as flood abatement equipment for their insureds. The Corps facility in Vicksburg, which will be used in the ASFPM/UL program has been identified as a test facility for FM approval, also. FM Approvals distributed its "FM Approval Standard 2510, Flood Abatement Equipment, Temporary Perimeter Flood Barriers, RE: Product testing" for comment at the ASFPM meeting in Albuquerque, June 2006.
Current test protocols are for self-supporting, temporary barriers. The laboratory set-up can be adapted easily to allow for testing panel closures and demountable barriers. We anticipate that testing of these additional flood protection products will develop in the not too distant future.