A turbidity curtain is a device that is used to help block off a portion of a body of water. Also referred to as a turbidity barrier, silt curtain or silt barrier, is used to contain sediment and silt, which is called turbidity. These curtains are used when the sediment is stirred up by a construction activity that has taken place in or near bodies of water, as well as dredging operations.
One of the most common pieces of oil spill response equipment, a turbidity curtain is also quite effective at controlling the release of certain organics into a body of water, which at highly concentrated levels could become toxic to local animal and marine life. The best experts will know that while it is in use, a turbidity curtain should be inspected regularly, so that any and all leaks can be detected.
In certain instances, it is desirable for a the skirt of a turbidity curtain to be constructed from filter fabric that allows the passage of water, but restricts the flow of sediment and silt. These kind of fabrics are engineered geotextiles, with durability and strength to needed in a turbidity curtain. Since water can flow freely from one side to another, catching the silt, sediment or organic material can be greatly expedited. Good references here.