What Exactly Is Dredging?
Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, canals, harbors, and other bodies of water. Dredging occurs as a routine necessity around the because sediments gradually fills channels and harbors. This natural process of sand and silt washing downstream filling the bottoms of channels and harbors is called sedimentation. The process of dredging is focused on maintaining and increasing the depth of navigable waterways to ensure safe passage of boats and ships.
Benefits of Dredging
Dredging is typically focused on increasing or maintaining the depth of the navigable channels such as anchorages, canals or berthing areas to ensure the safe passage of boats and ships. Vessels require a certain amount of water in order to float and not run on the bottom. As a channel is used more and more by massive ships carrying bulk goods across the country, the water depth needs to be dredged to accommodate the larger vessels.
Fish, wildlife and even people benefit from dredging. It helps to reduce their exposure to contaminants and to prevent the spread of contaminants to other areas of the water body. The environment dredging is often necessary because sediments in and around cities and industrial areas can be contaminated with a variety of pollutants. These pollutants can enter waterways from sources like sewer overflows, spills, industrial discharge, or even runoff.
What Is Dredging Used For?
Dredging is used for a number of purposes such as:
- Waterway Maintenance – Removal of accumulated debris like trash, pollutants, and dead vegetation in a waterway.
- Create Waterways – Build a new waterway to reach new trade centers and improve efficiency of the transport of goods.
- Excavation – Remove sediments for the preparation for construction projects like bridges, docks, and more.
- Increasing Waterway Depth – Remove the build up of sediment from the bottoms of waterways to restore the waterway to the original depth.
- Reclamation – Remove contaminants that occur from chemical spills, sewage accumulation, decayed plants, and storm water runoff.
- Wildlife Preservation & Ecosystem Maintenance – Removal of trash, sludge and other sediments, cleans the waterway and the wildlife ecosystem.
- Reconfiguration for Larger Ships – Deepening and widening of waterways to accommodate larger vessels.
- Shore Replenishment – Replace the shorelines of beaches and other banks that have eroded over time.
- Gathering Construction Materials – The sediments gathered can be used as sand, gravel and other debris for construction projects.
- Trash Removal – Clean and remove trash from beneath the surface of waterways.
- Pond & Lagoon Cleaning – Stagnant water on ponds and lagoons can become mucky and have an order. Dredging can clean the body of water.