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Aquatic Dredging

Aquatic Dredging presents a wide range of interesting challenges not found in normal excavation projects. Permitting can be time consuming and expensive. Access can be difficult. Lake-bottom terrain is typically an unknown factor and can stall projects unless careful planning is implemented. Removing, hauling and placing sediment efficiently is challenging. Environmental issues, such as run-off and shoreline stabilization must be addressed.

Dredging Techniques:
A variety of techniques can be used, including pump / auger, dragline and track-hoe dredging. Each has its place in particular situations.

Pump / Auger Dredging: This technique involves a floating barge with a large pump and submerged auger similar to two rotary lawn-mower blades. These auger blades stir up the bottom and the on-board pump sucks the material into a piping system which carries the spoil to the shore. The spoil material must be contained in an area to dry and be later removed. Auger dredging works best when the lake-bottom is very sandy, without rock or debris, as this material will clog the dredge. Such dredging is comparatively slow, but can be useful in situations where the body of water cannot be lowered or drained and the bottom is virtually pure sand.

Dragline Dredging: This technique is best implemented in situations where access is limited and/or the body of water cannot be lowered. Dragline reach is limited to approximately 100-feet and spoil removal is not very precise. Detail work is difficult with dragline equipment.

Track-Excavator Dredging: This technique provides the most flexible and efficient approach for most projects in the Southeast. Long-reach track-excavators (or track-hoes) specially outfitted with enlarged buckets and extended booms offer precise control, high capacity and up to a 60' reach. When positioned on specially-designed track-mats, these excavators can easily work on the bottom of an otherwise inaccessible lake-bottom without sinking into mud or silt. McEachern Dredging exclusively uses these fast, efficient (yet surprisingly quiet) customized track-excavators.

Hauling material in a soft environment is a major challenge in aquatic dredging. Typically, areas that require dredging are not in close proximity of a spoils area, so the dredged material may require hauling a considerable distance.
Even large balloon-tired dump trucks can easily mire in the soft bottoms of Southeastern lakes and ponds. Weight distribution is the key to success in aquatic dredging. By implementing truck-mats and specially designed, rubber track-equipped dump trucks, McEachern Dredging provides a unique and highly efficient solution to spoils hauling.




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