Dyrhoff Ltd Celebrates its 10th Anniversary


Dyrhoff Ltd is celebrating its tenth year of successful operation at its current base in Folkestone, Kent. Recognised globally as one of the leaders in the rubber dam and pneumatic gate field, Dyrhoff Ltd has in that time designed, supplied and supervised the installation of 94 rubber dams and spillway gates, on 57 sites around the world. The company’s installations can be found in 25 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Rubber dams were invented in the US in the 1950s by Norman Imbertson of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The idea of using a sealed rubber body attached to a concrete foundation which could be raised or lowered by the addition or removal of air or water proved highly effective, as well as economical. Nowadays rubber dams are a relatively common sight in the US and Asia. They can reach heights of up to 8m, with single spans measuring up to 100 meters in length. As in the 1950s, their relatively low build cost, low environmental impact – they require practicality no maintenance – and long life, make them an attractive solution.

Dyrhoff originally worked as the Scandinavian agent for the Sumigate rubber dam, designed by Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries, which was then the world leader in the manufacture and supply of inflatable rubber dams. In 2003, Sumitomo granted Dyrhoff a worldwide licence to sell rubber dams to the Sumitomo design. UK-based Dyrhoff Ltd was established shortly afterwards to head up the business. Whilst taking its technical knowhow from the Japanese specialist, Dyrhoff has developed partnerships with suppliers around the world, enabling it to respond to very specific client requirements and remain competitive in this market.

In more recent years Dyrhoff has expanded its range of products by becoming the European agent for the Obermeyer Hydro pneumatic spillway gate. The Obermeyer gate was developed in the US in the late 1980s, as a bottom hinged, pneumatically inflated spillway gate. Its popularity has grown around the world, particularly in the small hydropower sector, where its ability to control upstream water flow with great precision makes it ideally suited. In addition, Obermeyer pneumatic gates are a popular solution for navigation applications, especially in urban environments where their low visual impact makes them an attractive solution. As with rubber dams, Obermeyer gates are increasingly being selected for flood defence projects. Last year Dyrhoff were proud to be chosen as the supplier of the river level control gates for the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme, one of the Environmental Agency’s flagship flood defence projects. The project is currently under construction, with a completion date schedule for 2016.

As one of the world leaders in this highly specialised engineering field, Dyrhoff now employs a team of ten at its headquarters in Folkestone’s Shearway Business Park, with associate offices in the USA, Norway and France. A number of projects are in development at any given time, ranging from small rubber dams, designed for urban water treatment projects, to multiple span structures on large rivers. In the last year, Dyrhoff has worked on projects in the USA, Canada, Guatemala, Brazil, Singapore, Italy, Romania, Latvia, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Dyrhoff looks forward to the next ten years, and continues to develop its range of products to suit a growing number of applications. To view a comprehensive list of completed Dyrhoff projects, please visit our projects page!