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5th International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
"Rainwater Catchment for Future Generations"
Keelung, Taiwan, R.O.C. - August 1991

Section 3: Catchment and Storage System Designs

Page 175

Extending the Limits of Rubber Dam (Sumigate) Technology

Yoshiomi Tsuji, Ichiro Maruyama, Haruhiko Matsuoka, Kazutoyo Yamada & Katsuya Sakaguchi
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Japan


Sumigate is a inflatable and deflatable rubberized fabric+dam (rubber dam), Which consists of, a rubberized fabric tube, operation equipments and pipings. It is inflated by air or water and used for various applications, such as, irrigation, water supply, tidal barrier; etc. because of its many features, namely reliable deflation, easy and quick installation, low cost, excellent durability, and easy operation and maintenance. We have installed about 1200 rubber dams (most less than 3 m high) for mainly irrigation since 1966.

We developed materials for higher rubber dam full automatic operation., system actuated by solar battery, and special cushioning technique and have installed the 5m high experimental rubber dam in 1982 in cooperation with the New 'Energy Foundation and the Electric Power Development Co.

After ten (10) years observation since the installation, it has no damage and it has become clear that our large Sumigate is operating effectively as an diversion dam even in the upriver:

Moreover as the number of rubber dams increased, their: reliability was revaluated through practical demonstration. In 1990 the Japanese Ministry of Constriction has. installed the first actual use high dam(Inou river: 4.71 m H * 24 m L) for irrigation and tidal barrier, exceeding the construction regulations, that prohibited the use of higher rubber dams than 3 m high dams, and the Electric Power Development Co. starts to install the highest dam (Kurotani river: 6 m H * 34.5 m L) for small hydropower diversion dam this year.

This paper describes the current status and future potential of the inflatable rubber dam in Japan through the development procedure of a higher rubber dam.

PDF of full document (9pp, 250kb)

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