Confined Disposal Facilities

“Facts About Confined Disposal Facilities” describes the special closed areas that prevent contaminated sediments from being released into the environment.

Confined Disposal Facilities are a practical solution to a difficult problem: What to do with dredged material that cannot be placed or reused immediately because of contamination, which poses an unacceptable risk to the surrounding waters and land. Finding a suitable site for placing these materials is therefore a crucial part of the planning and management of a dredging project. Both land-based and water-based CDFs have been and continue to be used. Sometimes dikes or other structures may be used to isolate dredged material both in upland and aquatic Confined Disposal Facilities (CDFs). Also nearshore sites or properly prepared landfills can be used for Confined Disposal Facilities. 

One objective for a Confined Disposal Facilities is to retain contaminated dredged material solids whilst allowing the discharge of clean process water from the confined area. This consolidation creates more space for contaminated materials. And since space for these facilities is challenging to find, this is a definite plus. There have been times when sites for storage of contaminated sediment was so limited that certain dredging projects had to be postponed.

Since they take up large areas of space whether on land or in the water, careful planning for a Confined Disposal Facilities, prior to its design, location selection and construction, is crucial. The possibilities of combining the primary function of the Confined Disposal Facilities – receiving contaminated sediment – with other functions should always be considered. Sometimes when contaminated material has been rehabilitated after being in a Confined Disposal Facilities and having been treated, it can be reused.

“Facts About Confined Disposal Facilities” answers essential questions such as:

  • What is a Confined Disposal Facility?
  • Where are CDFs located?
  • Why are CDFs used?
  • Are CDFs an efficient way of handling contaminated sediments?
  • What are the differences between an upland CDF and an island or nearshore CDF?
  • What are some special options for locating CDFs?
  • Why is it important to maximise the use of CDFs?
  • What are some potential uses of a CDF?
  • How can these uses for CDFs be realised?
  • What are examples of well-managed CDFs?
  • Will CDFs always be necessary?
  • Will CDF capacity always remain an urgent issue?