How to build a sandbag barrier

Sandbags can be used to protect buildings and infrastructure from flood water.

Filling sandbags

  • While one person holds the bag open, another person shovels sand into the bag.

  • The bags should be filled halfway.

  • Count on filling about twelve bags in an hour.

Building a barrier

A sandbag barrier that is 60 cm high and one meter long requires about 80 filled bags. Pyramide shaped barriers are the most effective, and should be 3 times as wide as they are high.


Build the barrier on a smooth surface and clean the ground before building. Always place the seams on the dry side of the barrier

  • A sandbag barrier should be built in layers. Every second layer should be built with the bags placed across the longitudinal direction of the barrier. Always place the first layer with the bags in the longitudinal direction.

  • Try shaping the bags into rectangles before placing them.


By using a plastic membrane to cover the barrier leak is greatly reduced, and should be considered when the barrier is used over a longer period of time.


Some drawbacks of using sandbag barriers:

  • Both filling and placing the sandbag is very time consuming.

  • Sandbag barriers do have a relatively large leaks.

  • Cleaning up sandbag barriers after a flood is labor intensive.

  • It is not a permanent or reusable solution.

    Haawal Flood Grating provides superior protection against flooding

    Learn more here