Riverton, Wyoming Fire Department

Sand Bagging Instructions


Sandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.


1. Fill sandbags one-half full. Sand is sug-gested if readily available; however, sand is not mandatory, any local soil may be used.

For a more durable bag with increased effec-tive life, mix 10 parts of sand or soil with 1 part of cement. The materials can be mixed and placed dry. After all bags are in place, a light sprinkling of water is recommended. This technique is only effective with burlap sandbags and will not work with plastic sandbags.


Fold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top .

It is important to place bags with the folded top toward the upstream or uphill direction to prevent bags from opening when water runs by them.

Care should be taken to stack sandbags in accordance with the illustrations. Place each sandbag as shown, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer. Limit place-ment to two layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided.


1. Sandbags will not seal out water.

2. Sand and soil filled burlap sandbags dete-riorate when exposed for several months to continued wetting and drying. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.

Sandbags are basically for low-flow protec-tion (up to 2 feet). Protection from higher flows require a more permanent type of structure.


Do not use straw or bales of hay in lieu of sandbags. They do not perform as well as sandbags and may be washed away.

Fig. 4 Sandbag Placement

Sandbag Stacking

Sandbag Stacking

Directing Debris Away from Bldgs

Directing Flows Between Bldgs

Controlling Debris in Streets

Building Protection

Sliding Glass Door Sealing



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