Title:
Elongated hold down and barrier device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ground cover hold down device that includes a flexible elongated bladder made of durable, U-V resistant, coated vinyl capable being rolled into a compact rolled configuration for storage and unrolled to form an elongated expanded bladder capable of being filled with water. Formed on the top surface of the bladder is at least one filling port that allows the worker to fill the bladder with water. Located along two longitudinal edges of the bladder is a plurality of laterally extending eyelets. Each eyelet is made of rigid PVC and designed to remain laterally extended as the bladder is filled with water and assumes an oval cross-sectional configuration. A stake is then extended through each eyelet to hold the bladder in place over the ground cover. The bladder also includes a drain plug located at the opposite end of the bladder so that the water may be selectively removed from the bladder.



Inventors:
Baum, John (Roy, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/998853
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
11/30/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/169.14, 405/302.6
International Classes:
E02D19/00; E02D17/20
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070040083Bracket for a fluorescent light fixtureFebruary, 2007Mcaloon
20080258019Document Camera DeviceOctober, 2008Wang et al.
20060201960Inflatable containersSeptember, 2006Frayne
20030134111Adhesive tape for reel changeover and use thereofJuly, 2003Gebbeken et al.
20090194644Shielded FrameAugust, 2009Lundborg
20090008528VERTICAL-TYPE FINISHING MACHINEJanuary, 2009Chung
20080307721Anchoring Systems And Related MethodsDecember, 2008Schultz
20080087785OBJECT SUPPORT WITH A MAGNETIZED SHEET ATTACHMENTApril, 2008Roche
20090152285TAB STRUCTURE FOR CONTROLLING CUPS IN VEHICLESJune, 2009Kearney et al.
20090057502L-character standMarch, 2009Takamatsu et al.
20050173603Decorative name card holderAugust, 2005Dusenberry



Primary Examiner:
MCDUFFIE, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEAN A. CRAINE (BELLEVUE, WA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A ground cover hold down and barrier device comprising: a. a flexible elongated bladder with a top surface and two parallel longitudinal edges and two end surfaces, said elongated bladder being made of water tight material sufficiently flexible to allow said body to be folded and rolled into a compact configuration for storage or expanded into a straight configuration over a ground cover; b. at least on filling port formed on said top surface of said bladder near one said end surface; c. means for selectively closing of said filling port; d. a plurality of laterally extending eyelets formed on said lateral edges, said eyelets being located along said longitudinal edges so that when said bladder is filled with water, said bladder has an oval cross-section configuration; e. a drain port formed on said top surface of said bladder near the end surface opposite said filling port; and, f. means for selectively closing said drain port.

2. The ground cover hold down and barrier device as recited in claim 1, wherein said filling port includes an upward extended neck with external hose connector threads formed thereon capable of connecting threaded cap.

3. The ground cover hold down and barrier device as recited in claim 1, wherein said drain port includes internal threads that connect to a plug that includes external threads capable of being connected thereto to selectively open and close said drain port.

4. The ground cover hold down and barrier device as recited in claim 1, wherein said bladder is made of PVC coated polyester woven material weighing approximately 18 to 42 oz. per square yard.

5. The ground cover hold down and barrier device as recited in claim 1, wherein said bladder is sold as a kit with a plurality stakes capable of being inserted through said eyelet and holding said bladder over a sloped ground cover.

6. The ground cover hold down and barrier device, as recited in claim 1, wherein said drain port closing means is a two-way valve.

7. The ground cover hold down and barrier device, as recited in claim 2, wherein said drain port closing means is a two-way valve.

8. A method for holding down a ground cover, comprising the following steps: a. unfolding a ground cover over a section of ground; b. selecting a ground cover hold down device comprising a flexible elongated bladder that includes two parallel longitudinal edges and two end edges, and a top surface, said bladder includes a filling port formed on said top surface near one end edge and a drain port formed on said bladder near the end edge opposite said filling port, said bladder also including a plurality of laterally extending eyelets formed on said longitudinal edges of said bladder, said bladder being made of water proof material sufficiently flexible to allow said bladder to be rolled into a compact configuration when drained and unfold into a straight configuration over a ground cover; c. unrolling said bladder over a desired section of said ground cover to be held downward over the section of ground so that said top surface faces upward; d. inserting a stake at least two said eyelets and striking each said stake to at least partially imbed said stake into the ground; e. opening said filling port and filling said bladder with water; f. closing said filing port when a desired volume of water has been added to said bladder; and, g. reviewing each said stake to determine if said stake is force against said eyelet so that said bladder is held firmly in place over said ground cover.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part application of the utility patent application (Ser. No. 11/036,633) filed on Jan. 13, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to devices that can act as ground cover hold downs or water runoff barriers, and more particularly to such devices that are filled with water and used on flat and sloped surfaces.

2. Description of the Related Art

Recently, wind and water erosion control have become important issues in the construction industry. Many municipalities have promulgated regulations or ordinances that require construction companies to cover excavated dirt placed in a pile more than 72 hours with a sheet-like ground cover. Such ground covers are spread out over the pile and then typically held down by sandbags, stakes and ropes. Many municipalities have also promulgated regulations or ordinance that requires contractors to control the flow of rain water and flooding around and from the construction site. As a result, construction companies spend considerable amount of time filling and placing sand bags at different locations over ground covers and around the construction site to control rain water runoff and flooding. When the dirt pile is removed or when the construction site is being cleaned, considerable amount of time is spent picking up and emptying the sandbags and removing excess sand from the construction site.

What is needed is a device that can be easily and quickly setup and used as a hold down device for a ground cover or used as a dam or barrier to control runoff rain water at or around a construction site. What is also needed is such a device that can be stored in a compact configuration and then setup by filling the device with water that acts as an expander and as a weight. What is needed is such a device where its shape can be easily manipulated or altered and then fixed in alternative shapes to direct runoff rain water in different desired directions. What is also needed is such a device that enables the water to be easily drained from the device so that the device may be returned to its compact configuration for storage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above stated needs are met by the elongated hold down device and adjustable barrier disclosed herein that comprises a flexible, elongated bladder capable of being rolled or folded into a compact configuration for storage and then unrolled or unfolded into an extended configuration when used. The bladder is made of water tight material intended to be filled with water. Formed on one end of the bladder is at least one filling port with a removable cap or plug attached thereto that allows the user to selectively fill the bladder with the water. Formed on the opposite end of the bladder is a drain port with a cap, plug or two way valve. The bladder is made of a sufficient flexible material so it may be bent to form a straight or curved elongated weight or folded over to shorten and adjust its overall length. Stakes are used to hold the bladder when filled with water in its desired shape and length and in a fixed position over the ground.

As stated above, the bladder may be used as a hold down device or as a rain water runoff barrier. In some situations, it may be used for both purposes. Initially, the bladder is unfolded and placed in a flat configuration over a surface to be protected with the filling and drain ports facing upward and the eyelets on the opposite longitudinal edges extending laterally. The bladder may be aligned in a straight or a curved configuration. The bladder may also be folded under at any position to shorten its overall length.

Once the general layout of the bladder is established, the filling port is opened and the drain port is closed and the stakes are then selected and inserted through the eyelets. Normally, the stakes are partially imbedded into the ground to loosely hold the bladder in place as water is added to the bladder. As water is added to the bladder, the bladder slowly expands from a flat configuration into a tubular configuration that is oval in a cross-sectional configuration. Because the stakes are only partially embedded into the ground, the eyelets are able to slide upward over the stakes as the bladder expands. When the bladder has been filled with the desired volume of water, the filling port is closed and the stakes are further driven downward through the eyelets to securely hold the bladder in place.

To remove the device, the drain plug is opened so that the water may flow through the bladder. When a two way valve is attached to the drain port, an air pressure line may be attached to the valve to deliver air to the bladder to force the water in the bladder back through the filling port and into a storage tank.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a plurality of ground cover hold down devices placed over a ground cover that covers a sloped surface.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device being curved and being as a hold device and as a rain water runoff barrier.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a sectional side elevational view of the device taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of an eyelet attached to the side of the bladder.

FIG. 6 is a sectional side elevation view of the eyelet taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a partial sectional side elevational view of the drain port showing a threaded plug being inserted into the drain port or a two way ball valve being inserted into the drain port.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a sloped surface covered by a ground cover with three devices being assembled over the ground cover.

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of a section of the bladder showing a stake inserted through an eyelet as the bladder is filled with water.

FIG. 10 is a sectional side elevational view of two devices longitudinally aligned and connected together with a connection hose.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring to the FIGS, there is shown a ground hold down device 10 herein that comprises a flexible elongated bladder 12 capable of being rolled into a compact roll for storage and then unrolled into an extended configuration for use. The device 10 is designed to be used as an elongated weight to hold down a ground cover 90 or as a dam or barrier for controlling rain water runoff 92.

The device 10 includes an elongated bladder 12 made of durable, flexible, water-proof material designed to be used outdoors in a wide range of hot and cold climate conditions. In the preferred embodiment, the bladder 12 is rectangular, approximately 10 to 32 feet in length and 6 to 12 inches in width. When the bladder 12 is filled with water 80, the bladder 12 is cylindrical and oval in cross-section as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. In the preferred embodiment, the bladder 12 is made of a single panel 14, which is the two longitudinal edges 16, 18 are then overlapped and adhesively or radio frequency welded together. The two end edges 20, 22 are folded over the bottom surface of the bladder 12 and adhesively or radio frequency welded together so that the bladder 12 forms a water-tight structure.

Evenly spaced apart and formed on the two opposite longitudinal edges 16, 18 of the bladder 12 are reinforced, lateral extending eyelets 25. In the preferred embodiment, each eyelet 25 includes a semi-circular body 26 perpendicularly aligned on a flexible base 27 adhesively or welded to the outside surface 13A of the bladder 12. The semi-circular body 26 is centrally aligned with the bladder's midline axis 23 and a stake hole 30 is formed therein that is perpendicularly aligned with the bladder's lateral, midline axis 23. The flexible base 27 is sufficiently flexible and rigid so that the bladder 12 when filled with water 80 expands into an oval cross-section configuration. In the preferred embodiment, the eyelets 25 are spaced apart on the opposite edges 24 to 48 inches.

Located on one end of the bladder 12 is a filling port 35 with a removable cap 40. In the preferred embodiment, the filling port 35 includes a neck 36 with external threads 37 formed thereon that interconnect with internal threads 42 on a removable cap 40. The threads 37, 42 must be compatible and may be standard pipe threads or a hose threads. In the preferred embodiment, the neck 36 is made of PVC and is adhesively or welded to the inside surface 13B of the bladder 12. The neck 36 has an inside diameter of approximately 1 inch so that when the end of a standard ½ or ⅝ inch garden hose inserted into the neck 36, a gap is created that allows air to escape from the bladder 12 when being filled with water.

Attached to the opposite end of the bladder 12 is a drain port 50. The drain port 50 may be identical to the filling port 40 as shown in FIG. 4 or it may be a flush mounted structure as shown in FIG. 7 with an inward extending neck 52 with a central threaded bore 51 as shown in FIG. 7. The neck 52 is attached to a flange 54 that is adhesively or welded to the inside surface 13B of the bladder 12. A T-shaped threaded plug 55 with a threaded neck 56 or a two-way ball valve 60 with a threaded neck 62 may be attached to the threaded bore 51.

An optional tether line 68 may used between the connect and the plug 55 to the drain port 50.

As mentioned above, the bladder 12 is designed to be stored in a flat, compact rolled, configuration when not in use. When the bladder 12 is used, it is aligned in a straight or curved configuration over the ground cover 90 so that the filling port 40 and drain port 50 face upward. The bladder 12 is aligned so that the filling port 40 is positioned at a higher elevation than the drain port 50 so that water 80 when poured into the filling port 40 flows downhill and fills the bladder 12. The eyelets 25 on each side of the bladder 12 extend laterally.

Stakes 70 are then selected and inserted through each eyelet 25 and partially forced through the ground cover 90 and into the ground surface 100. As water 80 is added to the bladder 12, the eyelets 25 on each side of the bladder 12 are forced upward as the bladder 12 becomes oval in the cross section. To accommodate this expansion, the stakes 70 are only partially driven into the soil so that the eyelet 25 may slide upward over the stake 70 during the filling process. Once filled, the worker can then force each stake 70 downward through eyelet 25 to tightly hold the bladder 12 over the ground cover 95. On steep slopes, water 80 may be added to the bladder 12 when it is in a partial rolled configuration. As water 80 is added to the bladder 12, the bladder 12 automatically unravels itself over the slope as shown in FIG. 8. The worker then inserts stakes 70 into each eyelet 25 and drives them through the ground cover 95 and into the ground surface 100.

As mentioned above, the device 10 may be used as a dam or barrier. For such use, the bladder 12 is oriented in a flat configuration and then bent or curved in a desired configuration to deflect rain water runoff as shown in FIG. 2. The stakes 70 are then selected and then inserted to each eyelet 25. Water 80 is then dispensed through the filling port 35. The amount of bending of the bladder 12 must be limited so that water 80 may flow through the area that is narrowed and restricted. The stakes 70 may be forced completely into the ground so that bladder 12 remains in a bent or curved shape when filled.

On a sloped ground surface where water 80 from the bladder 12 may be desirable or permitted, the plug 55 may be manually removed from the drain port 45 to allow the water 80 from the bladder 12 to flow directly onto the ground cover 90 or onto the surrounding ground surface 100 or drainage system. On a water sensitive ground surface 100, a two way ball valve 60 as shown in FIG. 7, may be used that connects to a pressurized air line 89 that forces the water 80 from the bladder 12 through the filling port 35 to a storage tank (not shown). Also, the device 12 may be sold as a kit with a short connection hose 100 with threaded connectors 102, 102′ at its opposite ends that connects to the filling port 35 and drain port 40 on adjacent longitudinally aligned bladders 12, 12′.

The bladder 12 is cylindrical in the cross-section and designed to hold approximately 1 gallon of water 80 per 12 inches of length. When filled with water 80, the bladder 12 is approximately 7 inches in width and 6 inches in height. In the preferred embodiment, the bladder 12 is made from a PVC coated polyester woven sheet with a weight between 18 to 42 oz. per square yard. Such material is also U.V. resistant and withstands temperatures between minus 40 degrees F. and plus 180 degrees F. When the bladder 12 is filled with water 80, the bladder 12 weighs approximately 8 lbs per 12 inches in length which is an optimum amount of tensile force applied to a ground cover on a 20 degree sloped ground surface for holding a 30% grade. It should be understood, that the size of the bladder, number of the eyelets and the spacing on the bladder determines the slope recommended slope grade.

In compliance with the statute, the invention described herein has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown is comprised only of the preferred embodiments for putting the invention into effect. The invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the amended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.