Planning & Environment

Permanent Dredging System

When considering how many dredging contracts we have just to maintain a navigable channel that will naturally, continually attract sediment, you cannot help but realize how much is unnecessarily spent. Each contract has ancillary costs, such as mobilization and field office set up, and of course the allowable profit and overhead. This is all extra money on top of the cost of keeping the waterway clear. In effort to save the state that extra money, I came up with an idea that would make maintaining these areas easier and less costly.

The idea is to dredge the area down to below the desired depth, then either build a structure or contour the channel to a shape that will focus the sediment into a permanent system. The system could, in this first concept, be a specifically designed perforated pipe. The perforations would be such that when a volume of water is pumped through the pipe, it would create a suction into the pipe. If the system is not used regularly enough the pipe would have to have some means of closing the openings to keep sediment from clogging the system when not in use. As the vacuum created sucks in the sediment nearest the pipe, the layers just above will collapse into the pipe as well. The system will remove a small amount at a time over a large area. This will keep the flow within the system light enough to keep it from clogging. The end of the system would need to outflow into a prepared area for collection of the sediment where it can be properly processed.

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Idea No. 141