A Deep Dive Into Dredging With The Rothen Group
A Dredge Definition
What is dredging? Simply put, it is clearing a body of water free of mud, silt, weeds or debris via scooping or dragging. But it can be complicated, especially when carried out on difficult canals or other unstable terrain that can present obstacles and barriers for novice personnel.
This is why private and public waterway owners turn to marine engineering specialists for help with this activity. Whether used for river dredging or maintenance dredging, the floating plant and machinery owned by The Rothen Group (TRG) means operations like this can be tackled regardless of size, scope and complexity.
Dredging can occur in rivers, lakes, canals and non-navigable waterways, among other bodies of water. Similarly, it often continuously takes place around moorings, bridges, winding holes, attenuation features and approach channels. It can also occur as part of a marina’s ongoing upkeep, as silt often needs to be dredged from landing stages. Doing so makes it easier for boats to arrive and depart the marina safely and without obstacles.
Overall, the aim of dredging operations is to ensure waterways remain free of debris, mud and silt build-up. In turn, this makes movement easier for boats, while increasing biodiversity and lowering flood risk. In the case of navigational dredging, a dredge is dragged along the bottom of the waterway to deepen channels or berths to enable easier navigation in shallower waters.
Consequently, it is key that appropriate equipment is used to ensure the local environment is unaffected by any ongoing works or maintenance dredging. Businesses like TRG are licensed to dispose of materials in cost-effective fashion, including removing dredged material via road or water to be dried and reused as compost or topsoil.
Despite the equipment used, the dredging meaning does not change. However, though it is entirely possible to dredge shallower waters with a bucket and two hands, this is impractical, slow and inefficient. TRG can offer multiple types of machining for this task, and help make the process quicker and more thorough, regardless of the depth of water or the amount of water.
For example, we operate a range of Kubota zero-tail swing canal excavators that can be fitted with clam shell buckets and long-reach arms specifically for dredging activity. These machines, which vary from 850kg to eight tonnes, are lightweight in their class. They are therefore well-suited to maintenance dredging or other similar works that can take place from the towpath.
Indeed, equipment of this sort needs to be lighter because of weight restrictions put in place by the Canal and River Trust, the marine management organisation.