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Mechanical Dredging Vs Hydraulic Dredging

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Do you own a marina that needs to be dredged regularly to keep it deep enough for vessels to dock safely? Are you wondering whether you should use mechanical dredging or a hydraulic dredging to deepen the entrance to that marina? Read on and discover some important information about those two dredging methods. Use this information to make an informed decision about the most appropriate method before you rent a barge for that project.

Mechanical Dredging

Mechanical dredging refers to the use of heavy equipment, such as a longreach excavator, to remove materials from the bottom of a waterway. That material can be placed onto waiting trucks or barges before it is transported to a disposal site. The excavator may be mounted on a barge, or it may be positioned on the shore. The main advantage of this method is that dredging can go on uninterrupted because the longreach excavator can continuously extract the materials while different barges or trucks carry away the material extracted. Thus, the work can be completed more quickly. The method is also very good at removing rocks and other large debris from a waterway. However, it is difficult to use mechanical dredging to remove fine, loose materials from the site. This is because it is easy for water to wash away that material as it is lifted from the bottom of the waterway. The only way to use a mechanical dredger to remove fine materials, such as sand, is to use special buckets that control how water can flow as the bucket is lifted from the bottom of the waterway.

Hydraulic Dredging

Sediment can also be removed from the bottom of a waterway using a hydraulic dredger. This process involves sucking a mixture of the material and water. If the water in the mix is too little, the material may clog the dredge mechanism. If the water is too much, very little material will be extracted at a time. A lot of skill is used to calculate the optimal material/water mix so that extraction is efficient.

The mixture can be transported to the disposal site using a pipeline. Alternatively, the dredged material can be collected in the barge carrying the suction equipment. In the latter approach, water is allowed to drain out of the material before the solid material is transported to the disposal site.

Hydraulic dredging is not suitable in case there is contamination, such as a chemical spill at the dredge site. This is because the water in the mix can spread the contamination to larger sections of the water body. Hydraulic dredging may also be inefficient in case the barge containing the dredging equipment has to stop in order to transport extracted the sediment to the disposal site.

Hydraulic dredging is suitable for removing fine materials, such as heavy sand. It can also be used in locations with high traffic. This is because the equipment can be moved from one location to another quickly.

As you can see, each dredging option has its benefits and drawbacks. Talk to a professional for additional advice before you choose the best dredging method for your specific project.