The Department of Public Works’ policy in regard to the distribution of sandbags to the public during emergencies is to assist homeowners or small businesses that are at risk of experiencing flooding during heavy storms. Public Works will know who to call ie: “911”, The Flood Control District, Fire Department, or other easily available services in an emergency for expert help.
Maintenance will provide enough sandbags to protect the average home or store from flooding (about 10 sandbags). In instances that require over 10 bags, the property owner or resident should seek advice to find a solution beyond sandbagging. During emergency periods, Public Works will furnish engineering advice, free of charge, once the request is received by telephone. Arrangements can be made to meet the party in the field.
- Sandbags will not seal out water.
- Sand and soil filled burlap sandbags deteriorate 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 protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires 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.
Sand and sandbags are available to West Covina residents (24-hours) at the following Fire Station locations:
- Fire Station No. 1/City Yard:
- Fire Station No. 2:
- Fire Station No. 4:
- Fire Station No. 5:
There is a 10 bag limit per household on free sandbags. During emergency periods, City staff will review individual situations and furnish engineering advice. Extreme situations may require the homeowner to consult a civil engineer, engineering geologist, or geotechnical engineer.
The fire stations are open 24 hours a day should you have an emergency and require sandbags. The bags are not prefilled with sand. Residents will have to fill the sandbags with the available sand. It is suggested to bring your own shovel because there may not be a shovel available.
For further information, please contact the Public Works Department.
Sandbags are also available at Los Angeles County Fire Stations under the following guidelines:
|1 to 25 bag(s)||No Questions Asked|
|26 to 100 bags||
Requires telephone call to (626) 458-4306 or (626) 458-4313 for verification of appropriate and safe usage of sandbags. See “Approved” and “Disapproved” usages below.
Approved usages for County Sandbags:
Disapproved usages for County sandbags:
Residents may purchase additional sandbags at:
- Home Depot, 2220 S. Azusa Ave, West Covina
Using SandbagsSandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.
- Fill sandbags one-half full. Sand is suggested if readily available; however, sand is not mandatory, and any local soil may be used.
- For a more durable bag with increased effective life, mix 10 parts of sand or soil with one 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.
PlacingFold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top as shown in the illustration on the right. 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.
Stacking SandbagsCare 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 placement to two layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided (see illustrations below).
sandbag stacking against buildings
pyramid sandbag stacking
directing debris away from buildings
controlling debris or storm flows in streets
directing flows between buildings
sliding glass door sealing