Civil engineering is a broad field. It covers areas of construction, modification or demolition that deal with public utilities. Examples include roads, bridges, sporting facilities, public recreation areas and many others. Today, civil works also cover waterways because they are a popular mode of transport, sporting and recreation. They are also a livelihood for economies that rely on fishing and marine tourism. Routine maintenance is necessary for waterways at risk of shrinking because of excess soil sediments. When surface runoff ends up in lakes and rivers, the particles settle at the bottom of the water body. This affects the depth and breadth of water bodies, affecting natural and human processes that depend on it. Here is a look at dredging to help you understand how it can save your waterways:
Simply put, dredging is a process meant to address the accumulation of sediment in water bodies. The process requires a dredge to remove accumulated soil and other materials from the bottom and sides of a river, stream, lake or sea. The dredge has a system of conduit pipes and chambers that create a vacuum while sucking up sediments and unwanted debris from the water.
Uses of Dredging
There are several reasons civil engineers and construction specialists recommend dredging. These include the following:
- Removing pollutants - Pollution poses a big threat to the health of waterways in the world today. It is common for solid pollutants such as plastics and polythene to find their way into waterways; dredging helps to remove such pollutants.
- Maintaining waterways - The accumulation of sediments and debris on the beds and banks of water bodies reduces their size significantly. They become narrower and shallower as time goes by, which reduces their capacity to handle marine vessels such as boats and ships. It becomes unsafe for such vessels to cruise over the water mass. Luckily, you can hire a contractor to dredge the water mass and restore its original depth and width.
- Creating waterways – Dredging is also important when you want to create an artificial waterway. For instance, natural rivers may not be able to accommodate all the surface runoff in an area following heavy downpours. This can cause flooding in the surrounding areas. Dredging enables contractors to create artificial waterways to supplement the existing ones and improve drainage in the area.
- Reclamation – A build-up of decayed plant and animal life can affect the other organisms inhabiting a certain water body. Dredging removes all the stuff that has been poisoning the water over the years, making it suitable for environmentalists to re-establish the eco-system.