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December 10, 2022

How to Utilise Sand bags for construction projects and erosion control


Arpit Kushawaha


geo bags


Sand bags or geo bags can be used to effectively manage erosion on a construction site.

How to properly fill, install, and use sandbags to reduce erosion on a construction site

Sandbags are one of those items that we frequently overlook. We don’t give them a second thought because they seem so basic and uncomplicated to use on the job site!

However, did you know that there is a right approach to fill sand bags that would facilitate your workday? Additionally, putting or stacking them in specific ways can enhance your sandbag wall’s ability to stop erosion.

What purpose do sand bags serve?

  • Helpful for erosion
  • One of the simplest and least expensive ways to manage the impacts of erosion and stop additional harm from happening is with sandbags.
  • Erosion occurs when soil, sand banks, river borders, or coastal ecosystems are moved by water, wind, or other natural processes, harming the nearby ecosystems and buildings.
  • Outstanding for construction projects
  • They come in very handy for a variety of tasks, whether you’re working on a civil construction site or on a landscaping project.

Read on if you require sand bags for erosion control, are installing pipelines for a drainage project, are creating swales or channels, are managing erosion and pollution on your construction site, or are working to reduce flood risks.

Various applications for sandbags

  • control of erosion
  • Sediment management
  • Water reversal
  • Landscaping
  • weighing down equipment and signage
  • construct retaining walls
  • construction and civil applications
  • urgent road maintenance
  • Management of natural disasters and flooding
  • Controls for shoreline and waterway erosion, such as breakwaters, levees, and revetments
  • Restoration of streams and management of the shore

Hessian vs. polypropylene sandbag varieties


Let’s start by examining the two primary categories of sand bags: hessian and poly. Depending on what you want the sandbag to do specifically, you can choose the best type for your application.

Sand bags made of hemp

Sand bags are typically made of hessian (also known as burlap). Because it is a natural fiber, it will progressively deteriorate with use, making it a desirable option for some applications where the sandbag structure is intended to eventually blend in with the terrain.

Hessian may be a viable option for your application because of its biodegradable qualities. Hessian can be ripped and torn by sharp objects, is heavier when wet than polypropylene, and holds water for a longer period of time. For shorter-term uses or projects where they won’t be submerged in water continuously, our hessian sand bags make a fantastic alternative.

Also, hessian is a natural fiber and therefore it will eventually rot completely away. In some cases, this is a positive – for example for applications where you want to fill geobags with sand and cement to create a wall or more permanent landscaping structure.

Plastic sandbags or Geo bags

The woven plastic fibers used to make polypropylene or poly sand bags are rot-resistant. They are therefore perfect for longer-term projects and applications, like river erosion and water diversion, where they will be exposed to water more frequently. Additionally, they are perfect for straightforward, short-term tasks like weighing down road signs or barrier boards during construction projects.

It’s vital to remember that with continuous exposure to UV sunshine, all polymers, including polypropylene, eventually degrade. This degeneration can also be sped up by harsh weather.

Sandbags can decay if kept in a wet and humid environment, so keep that in mind if you’re buying them in bulk and storing them for later use. Make sure they are dry and kept inside, out of the sun.

How to properly load sand bags for the best outcome

How much should be in the bag? Should I fill it with only sand or should I use another material?

These inquiries are frequently made to us.

Here is a quick overview on how to fill sand bags to prevent erosion.

Hand-filling sandbags

First off, filling sandbags with a coworker is simpler if you don’t have a sandbag filler. One person should support the empty bag on the ground and hold it out in front of them. When the second person is ready to fill the bag with shovelfuls of sand, fold the top of the bag down like a collar and hold it open.

To the greatest extent possible, the individual holding the geobag should be standing with their feet apart and their knees bent. To prevent spills, the individual shoveling the sand should transfer the material carefully into the bag.

Of course, this can take a while, therefore we frequently advise clients to utilize a sandbag filler to speed up and simplify the process.

How to use a sandbag filler to fill sandbags rapidly

The advantage of a sand bag filler is that it only requires one person to operate it. Simply slide the bag into the bottom of the hopper, then fill from the top using the wide steel mouth. This works exactly like a huge funnel.

When should sandbags be filled?

Whatever method you choose, it’s crucial to only fill the bag to about 2/3 of its capacity. By doing this, it will be made flexible and will stack with other bags without creating spaces where soil, silt, or extra water can pass through.

It’s advisable not to overfill the bags too because it will make them difficult to handle. Overfilling a sandbag, which can add risk to manual handling and cause it to weigh up to 20 kg, is not necessary. Utilize the provided string to secure the bag.

Additionally, pre-filled sandbags are offered to eliminate the inconvenience of manual filling.

Also Read: Which Is Better For Your Project: Geomembrane or Geotextile?

Is it acceptable to use gravel or blue metal in sand bags?

Sand bags are typically made to carry only sand, therefore filling them with additional things like gravel or blue metal can harm the outside shell.

A silt bag may be preferable if you want to fill sandbags with something other than sand.

What distinguishes silt bags from Sand bags?

In a nutshell, silt bags are made to filter, whereas sand bags are made to block. The standard filling for silt bags is a much coarser material, such as blue metal, which allows water to pass through while still capturing pollution and sediment and preventing it from entering drains.

To best catch runoff from building and civil sites, place silt bags and socks around drains. They are made of sturdy polypropylene mesh and are perfect for long-term projects because they can withstand the elements for up to 6 years outside.

Singhal sells silt bags that are both empty and already filled.

Additional silt and sediment byproducts

Silt socks that come in a 50m roll and long snake sand bags are two different types of silt bags that can be purchased. Singhal also sells silt traps, which sit within drains and catch sediment and silt before they enter the stormwater system.

Similar to silt fencing, which controls sediment on land, silt curtains are a floating boom that can help manage runoff in streams and waterways.

Laying sandbags

Geobags are generally laid in offset rows, like a brick wall.


Start at one end and make sure the bag next to it covers the top portion of the bag that is empty. Depending on the use, tying off sandbags is optional.

It is frequently preferable to leave the bag open when constructing a sandbag wall to keep out water so that the sand can flatten and move a little, aiding in the bag’s molding into the one next to it.

Sandbag ties are often only used for transportation or for various building and construction applications.

How should used sandbags be disposed of?

Hessian sandbags, in this situation, will inevitably degrade over time if left in place. However, your local council is probably able to assist you if you need to locate a sandbag disposal location in your neighborhood.

Due to the nature of the toxins they may have come into contact with, the NSW SES advises that used sandbags be handled cautiously. This is true for temporary construction applications as well as applications for managing disasters like floods.

For advice on the safest manner to dispose of spent sandbags, the SES and QLD Government disaster management guidance materials both suggest calling your local council. Your local workplace safety authority may also be able to offer advice in this scenario as construction projects are concerned.


Make sure there are no opportunities for toxins, oils, or chemicals to infiltrate our waterways when you dispose of your sandbags, regardless of how you do it. Think carefully before getting rid of them because they might have been absorbed by the bag during use.

Where to find sandbags and fillings for sandbags

For more information about our selection of sand bags, sand bag fillers, and other items to help manage erosion, silt, and sediment on site, get in touch with Singhal.

Sand bags supplied by Singhal include:
Hessian sandbags are provided unfilled, as are poly sandbags.
Sand bag (5 kg) that has been filled and is ready to use.


If you are in need of geobags or sandbags, contact Singhal Industries private limited. We are a leading manufacturer and supplier of these products and can provide you with the best quality products at the most competitive prices. We have a team of experienced and skilled professionals who can cater to all your needs and requirements in the most efficient manner. So, don’t hesitate to contact us for all your geobag and sandbag needs.



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