One of the most common projects our dredging equipment company takes part in is maritime dredging projects. Channels, ports, inlets, and harbors all benefits from maritime dredging. These spaces are often high-use areas, and so a question we often hear from our clients is “How often should we commit to a maritime dredging project?” Today, U.S. Aqua Services will explore the frequency of maritime dredging.
Figuring Out Frequency
While our site consultants would love to glance at your project and give you a hard and fast estimate like “dredge once a year,” that’s not always the case. The frequency with which you have to commit to a maritime dredging project is determined by a number of factors. First, it’s best to figure out why you’re dredging in the first place. Most maritime dredging projects are in relation to shipping needs. As cargo ships expand, harbors, ports, and marinas have to as well. These spaces need a minimum depth to accept certain sizes of ships. However, some maritime dredging projects are conducted for environmental reasons. Both of these motivations require the use of dredging equipment, but their dredging schedules are very different.
What Factors Affect Frequency
The frequency of dredging is affected by three key factors:
The Minimum Depth
Every project has a minimum depth requirement. This is the depth that you would like to ideally maintain between projects. When deciding on a minimum depth, it’s best practice to add in a buffer, especially for projects that involve shipping or navigation routes in harbors and ports.
The Depth You Can Dredge
How deep you dredge also figures into how frequently you’ll dredge. If you’re only dredging a few feet down, you’ll have to dredge more often to maintain that depth. But if you can dredge 40 feet down, you may not need to dredge for several years.
How Fast do Debris Fill the Area?
Each body of water has it’s own unique flow patterns, which move more or less debris. For areas with lots of water moving through them, debris may accumulate more quickly than in areas with calmer waters.
Overdredging May Help
For projects where maintaining a delicate animal habitat isn’t a concern, some projects can take advantage of overdredging. A common tactic of the Army Corps of Engineers, overdredging is done in order to limit how often dredging has to be done. For navigational routes, overdredging is ideal, and is employed along coastlines and rivers. The process of overdredging is rather simple. A major project is undertaken to dredge deeper than usual and to widen the project beyond what is regularly called for. This ensures that many years can pass before the area has to be dredged again. Because of the extra space, debris can accumulate without compromising the minimum depth or interrupt the safe travel of ships.
If you’re undertaking a maritime dredging project in Georgia, connect with U.S. Aqua Services. We offer dredging equipment rentals, as well as site visits so you can have the exact equipment and information you need for your project. Contact us today to find out more.