Do I have to shut down my marina?
This is a very common question and the answer may vary depending upon the dredging equipment being used. If you are dredging with a cable-driven dredge, then it will not be possible to have boat traffic in your marina, so it will have to shut down until dredging ceases. If you are using a Catfish minidredge, equipped with the starwheel drive self-propulsion system, then all recreational and commercial boating activities may continue while dredging is in progress. The advantage of using self propulsion is that it is a cable-free transportable dredging system comprised of two independently-driven paddle wheels that propel the dredge when on the surface and when lowered to the bottom of the water body for positive traction. The self-propulsion slows the dredge operator to easily maneuver into boat slips and dredge without interruption to boat traffic.
What do I do with the dredged material?
This is a problem faced by many marina operators who obtain their dredging permits. They can dredge, but they don’t know what to do with their spoils. Many marinas build containment cells in adjacent empty lots or parking facilities. This method is the most common route, but many times it is not the most practical. Obtaining the permits to dredge may be the easy part, but depending on your location, your marina may have strict regulations on where you can discharge the dredged material. Over the years, contractors have employed three viable solutions to disposing of their dredged material when conventional containment cells were not an option, including:
Beach Re-nourishment – When dredging sand from a marina, it is possible to obtain permits to dredge onto nearby beach front property. This method of disposing of the dredge spoils is beneficial to the beach’s health in that it will help prevent erosion and it will serve as a flood or tidal barrier.
Geotextile Tube Filling – This method involves connecting your dredge discharge line directly to a port on a synthetic-made containment bag. The operator may then dredge directly into a bag, filling it, and then dredging into another bag while the first bag is dewatering. Once the water has filtered out of a bag, it may be filled again until its solids capacity has been met. The bag may then be torn open and used as a landscaping berm or levy. The bag may also be hauled away to a disposal area.
Hydrocyclone Sand Separator – Hydrocyclone (HC) Sand Separators utilize a conical shaped separator that accelerates the velocity of water maximizing separation of sand and other solid matter with greater than 90% efficiency. The Hydrocyclone Sand Separator creates a centrifugal action that moves the water around the edge of the body, throwing the sand and other heavy material (e.g. rocks, shells) to the outside of the cyclone where they then fall down out of the bottom of the HC. The clean water exits the top of he hydrocyclone and is returned to the sea with minimal silting.
Barge Disposal – When all else fails, pumping directly into one or several floating barges becomes an option. The material may then be floated downstream to a permitted disposal area where it can be pumped out or, in the case of a hopper barge, disposed of in open water if permits are obtained.