The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Standard sandbag is 14 inches ×  26 inches and is intended to hold 40 pounds. It is tested by dropping a full bag onto a concrete floor from a height of 4 feet: once on its face, once on its side, and once on its end.

Experts recommend that bags used for flood control be closed simply by folding over the end, so that except for the flat fold the entire inner surface of the bag lies next to sand. Such bags can be stacked like bricks, without hollows that may allow water to flow through. Bags closed with ties cannot be stacked together as tightly.

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