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The Pros and Cons Of Water Filled Barriers Vs Concrete Barriers

Water-filled barriers (see our red and white water filled barriers) and concrete barriers are different in many ways. Each has their own properties and design characteristics that make them apt for particular purposes.

Concrete barriers are distinct in their own ways and are suited for certain uses. Although not really perfect, they are utilized by professionals to build a solid barrier that does not easily turn aside. They are sturdy and do not readily diverge.

Because of their properties, concrete barriers are typically used to protect workers within a work zone.

What about plastic, water-filled barriers? When and how are they used?

Water-filled barriers hold various advantages over concrete barriers. Nevertheless, there are situations when it is necessary to purchase and deploy the latter.

To properly elucidate on this, the following is an outline of the pros and cons of water-filled barriers, and the pros and cons of concrete barriers.

What Are The Pros Of Water-Filled Barriers?

These barriers (see a guide on temporary road blocks) or demarcation systems are quite versatile in their use. When aptly set up, they can be very effective in channeling pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

In a job site, they can form a visible delineation, in the same way as with a project location, especially when there is a need for moveable and agile fencing. Because of their properties, they can be used again and again.

Why are water-filled barriers an excellent option? The following are key features:

  • They are highly visible. These barriers are available in a variety of bright colors, especially and notably orange which is a safety color.
  • They can be customised. This fencing system can be customised to indicate messages, advertisements and logos of certain companies.
  • Additional fencing is easy. If a more robust or secure delineation is needed for a job site perimeter, modular fencing systems can be added to water-filled barriers. Fence screening that is custom-made or gawker screening of the same sort can be branded on the fence panels. With these properties, it will be convenient for companies to advertise their identities to the public.
  • They are durable. Plastic, water-filled barricades have a sturdy design, able to withstand bad weather and can function for years.
  • They are sturdy. When filled with water or sand, plastic barriers can weigh for a maximum of 900 lbs. These barricades are some of the strongest in the market.
  • Safety is ensured. Shocks of impacts can easily be absorbed by plastic barriers when there are crashes compared to concrete barriers. With this equipment, injuries and fatalities in work zone accidents can be reduced.

  • They are sustainable. Because of their material properties, it is easier to recycle plastic water-filled barriers. They are environmentally-friendly.

  • They are cost-efficient. They can be purchased with high value for money and are cheaper than other alternatives.
  • They are versatile. One person can carry a plastic water-filled barrier when it is emptied of its water ballast. Many types of these systems can be conveniently folded, moved and arranged. It does not require too much space to store them. Their design is safe, without sharp or rough components. Even when children are in the premises, there is no harm in installing them.

What Are The Cons Of Water-Filled Barriers?

  • They are not a suitable choice for construction areas that contain heavy equipment.
  • They are primarily designed as a safe crash cushion for a driver or vehicle, and not to deflect them or keep them out of a job site.
  • There are times when their highly visible and bright colors are distracting.

What Are The Pros Of Concrete Barriers?

There is only one main advantage of concrete barriers over plastic water-filled barriers. Minimal deflection is provided by this equipment, and they are predominantly used as a solid carrier to entrance when workers are working behind it. The impact of a large vehicle can be stopped by concrete barriers where a plastic barrier cannot.

  • They provide solid protection. With this barricade around, workers can be kept safe from heavy vehicles or equipment when working.
  • Regulated by the state Departments of Transportation. Having abided by the standards, concrete barriers are intended for specific uses.

What Are The Cons Of Concrete Barriers?

  • They are heavy and cannot be easily moved.
  • Setting them up requires a significant amount of time, labor and heavy equipment.
  • Their interlocking is not very efficient or effective.
  • They are not customisable.
  • They are not available on disposal, and they cannot be quickly moved to a site.
  • They look drab- not attractive. They can be eye-sores during a public event.
  • They cannot be easily stored.
  • They degrade over time.
  • They are not a suitable option for indoor use.


If your project specification does not require concrete barriers, plastic barriers are a better option. It is of better value. Plastic barriers have more advantages and uses compared to concrete barriers, and they cost less. Their lifetime value is better. Companies can find that plastic water-filled barriers are worth investing in if they need such equipment for their projects. 

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