If you’ve ever had to take a boat onto a lake or navigate a waterway, you probably know that you need to be aware of sedimentation. Sedimentation is a natural process in which silt, sand, and other debris settles on the bottom of a body of water and accumulates over time. Not only does this lead to shallower bodies of water that become difficult to navigate over time, but it can cause beaches to erode and even negatively impact local wildlife. The effects of sedimentation can be counteracted by dredging, a process in which sediment is removed from the bottom or the banks of a lake or stream by specialized equipment called a dredge or a dredging machine.
Even though it can be argued that dredging is interfering with a natural process, there are several benefits to the practice. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
We rely on our country’s waterways for everything from commercial shipping and transportation to recreational boating, so we obviously want to keep them in good condition. Too much sedimentation can cause these waterways to become shallow and too full of muck to be navigated safely, which is where dredging machines can help. A dredging machine will put more water underneath the boats that navigate a body of water while preventing sediment from clogging up motors and damaging propellers. It effectively allows safer passage for commercial and recreational vessels alike.
Dredging can also be used to create new waterways as well as man-made ponds and lakes. This effectively creates new shipping lines for commercial use as well as lakes that are literally designed for swimming and recreational boating.
Helping the Environment
Dredging does more than just remove sediment that settles naturally at the bottom of lakes and rivers; it can also remove contaminants that may have spilled into a body of water. It also removes dead vegetation and excess minerals that can prevent the local ecosystem from thriving.
These are just a few of the many benefits of shallow water dredging, but there are more to consider. As long as dredging machines are used correctly and responsibly, they actually help the environment and improve our nation’s waterways. There are several companies throughout the United States that offer dredging services and lease dredging machines, so contact one today if you would like to learn more about this process.