Environmental Equipment

“Facts About Environmental Equipment” describes equipment specifically developed to remove and remediate contaminated sediments and protect the nearby waters.

Use of the term “environmental” or “remediation” dredging has evolved to describe dredging performed specifically for the removal of sediment contaminated at levels that can endanger marine life and human life. Environmental dredging is executed for the specific purpose of removing hazardous wastes that are detrimental to ecosystems. The dredging is conducted in a way to minimise the spread of contaminants to the surrounding waters during dredging. This entails specially developed methods as well as dedicated equipment.

This removal of contaminated sediments from the waterbed is complex and demanding. Some of the key components to be evaluated when considering dredging as a clean-up method include sediment removal, transport, staging, treatment (pretreatment, treatment of water and sediment, if necessary), and disposal (liquids and solids). To address these hazards dedicated technologies and equipment have been developed.
Environmental dredgers have optimised their precision so that they can accurately dredge thin layers which leads to less contaminated dredged material to be disposed of. Special environmental dredgers, such as augers and scoop heads, are equipped with advanced technological positioning and monitoring systems. These increase the ability to dredge with a high degree of precision.
New or modified dredgers are also built to minimise turbulence and turbidity thus causing less disturbance to marine flora and fauna.

The safety of the crew and surrounding populations is also a top priority. In many cases the dredged materials are brought via a closed system to a barge or to disposal areas.
Other environmental equipment includes silt screens and/ or air bubble screens which enclose the area being dredged and prevent sediment from drifting into the general water body.
Cleaning up toxic chemicals in ports and harbours and rivers is a specific skill. Technologies including capping, monitored natural recovery, and dredging have advanced and continue to develop. The dredging industry is actively researching these technologies, but the ultimate solution of course is to limit the sources of contamination.

“Facts About Environmental Equipment” answers essential questions such as:

  • What is environmental dredging?
  • How does environmental dredging differ from navigational dredging?
  • What characterises environmental dredging?
  • What are the key components in dredging contaminated sediments?
  • What is precision dredging?
  • What are low-impact environmental dredgers?
  • What is an environmental disc cutter dredger?
  • What is a scoop dredge?
  • What is an auger suction dredger?
  • What is an environmental clamshell or grab?
  • What is an encapsulated bucket ladder dredger?
  • Are there other specialised environmental dredgers?
  • What is the ‘green valve’?
  • What about silt screens and air bubble screens?
  • What data is needed for successful environmental dredging?
  • When is environmental dredging the solution?
  • What are the pros and cons of environmental dredging?