What exactly is dredging?

What exactly is dredging?

Dredging, a term we have all heard. But do you also know exactly what it entails? If not, don’t be embarrassed. Many people do not know the exact definition of dredging.

In this article we’ll give you more information about the dredging technique. What is dredging actually? And with what dredging equipment are you able to dredge? We will explain it all to you.

What is dredge?

Before we can explain the term “dredging”, it is important to first explain what dredge is.

Dredge is the sludge on the water bottom. Dredging often consists of leaves, soil material or other types of plant residues that settle on the water bottom. It can also consist of residual waste. If the dredge consists of (harmful) residual waste, this is also referred to as contaminated dredging sludge.

Okay, but what is dredging then?

The removal of dredge from the water bottom is called dredging. The term dredging is derived from the noun dredge. Dredging is the excavation of sand, slip and other soil layers from the water bottom.

Because the sludge is constantly supplied by the current in the water, it is important that the dredge is removed regularly. Not only the removal of this sludge is important, but also the disposal of the sludge. There are several dredging companies that specialize in this.

What are the disadvantages of dredge?

Dredge can ensure that the waterways (or channels) become shallower. Dredge can even cause these waterways to become blocked. As a result, ships may no longer be able to sail on the water.

Not only shipping is experiencing problems because of the dredge, the water that is discharged to the sea can also be hindered by dredging. The chance that canals, rivers or other waterways burst their banks is much greater due to dredging.

In order to prevent flooding and not hinder the water infrastructure, it is therefore important that the dredge is removed regularly.

It is also important that the dredge is removed to maintain the oxygen content in the water. If there is a lot of dredge on the bottom, a shortage of oxygen in the water can occur. This creates an unpleasant odor, and animals and plants can hardly live in the water.

How can you remove the dredge?

The dredge can be removed with the help of a dredger. A dredger is a vessel equipped with equipment to remove dredge from the water bottom.

Since dredging is a heavy task, the dredge components wear out quickly. Dredging components such as dredging adapters and pick-points therefore have to be replaced often.

Why dredging needs to be done

As mentioned earlier, dredge on the sediment can have several disadvantages: the dredge can obstruct the water infrastructure, the dredge can obstruct the discharge of the water to, for example, the sea and the dredge can affect the oxygen content in the water.

But these are not the only reasons for dredging. Dredging can also be done if a new harbor, dock or waterway is being constructed. This is called capital dredging. Even when an artificial island is being constructed, dredging has to be done.