Cofferdams may be installed both upstream and downstream, and along portions of the cross section of a channel or other waterway if necessary to isolate the extent of the work areas. When feasible, construction of cofferdams will begin in the upstream area and continue in a downstream direction, allowing water to drain and allowing fish and aquatic wildlife species to leave (under their own volition), from the area being isolated by the cofferdam, prior to closure. The flow will then be diverted only when construction of the upstream dam is completed and the work area has been naturally drained of flow, at this point, the downstream dam, if necessary, would be completed and then flow would be diverted around the work area. Cofferdams and stream diversion systems will remain in place and fully functional throughout the construction period. In order to minimize adverse effects to aquatic species, stream diversions will be limited to the shortest duration necessary to complete in-water work. In-water cofferdams will only be built from materials such as sandbags, plastic, clean gravel (possibly wrapped in impermeable material), rubber bladders, vinyl, steel, or earthen fill, in a manner that minimizes siltation and/or turbidity. Sandbags may only be used to build cofferdams upstream of spawning gravels when filled with clean gravel (or other material acceptable to the approving Water Board). Where possible, cofferdams should be pushed into place. If pile driving (sheet piles) is required, vibratory hammers should be used and impact hammer should be avoided. If necessary, the footing of the cofferdam will be keyed into the channel bed at an appropriate depth to capture the majority of subsurface flow needed to dewater the streambed. When cofferdams with bypass pipes are installed, debris racks will be placed at the bypass pipe inlet in a manner that minimizes the potential for fish impingement and/or entrapment. As needed and where feasible, bypass pipes will be monitored for accumulation of debris. All accumulated debris will be removed. When appropriate, cofferdams will be removed so surface elevations of water impounded above the cofferdam will not be reduced at a rate greater than one inch per hour. Cofferdams in tidal waters should be removed during the lowest possible tide and in slack water to the extent feasible to minimize disturbance and turbidity. This will minimize the probability of fish and other aquatic species stranding as the area upstream becomes dewatered. All dewatering/diversion facilities will be installed such that natural flow is maintained upstream and downstream of project areas.

An area may need to be dewatered for long enough to allow special-status species to leave on their own before final clearance surveys and construction can begin.