Frequently Asked Questions
Heartland Dredging specializes in the hydraulic dredging of ponds, waterbodies, treatment plant basins, marinas, and other bodies of water. We have an answer to the sludge and sediment problem that plagues the water resources of commercial properties, residences, and municipalities. Contact us at (317) 769-2781 today for a free quote.
The simple answer is yes. It is a natural process for all bodies of water to fill with sediment to some degree. Some ponds need dredging after just a few years, but others may go for 50 or 100 years before having any issues.
Material collects in ponds primarily for two different reasons.
- First, as rainwater flows over land, it erodes the soil, and that soil is carried to the pond. Once the water reaches the pond, the movement is slowed down significantly or stopped, and the soil that is suspended in the water has a chance to settle to the bottom of the pond. Additionally, ponds in wooded areas tend to collect a lot of dead leaves which sink to the bottom and build up over time and turn into organic muck.
- Ponds that receive excessive nutrients from lawn and farm fertilizers can produce large amounts of algae that will die off in the winter and sink to the bottom.
Preventing soil from eroding in streams and ditches is very important. Also, limiting the use of fertilizers will help prevent or reduce algae growth. You can also rake floating debris such as leaves and algae off the surface of the water before is has the chance to sink to the bottom.
In general, if your pond is constantly covered with algae and weeds, it is most likely filled with organic sediment and needs to be dredged out. A better solution is to monitor the buildup of sediment over time by getting the pond surveyed periodically to measure the sediment thickness.
Unlike traditional mechanical dredging, in hydraulic dredging, the water body does NOT need to be drained. We put a floating barge on the water equipped with a arm that is lowered to the bottom. The sludge and sediment is no match for the spinning cutterhead and suction pump attached to the arm. It sucks up the solids and water and pumps them through a pipeline that extends from the dredge barge to a location somewhere on shore. Once onshore, the slurry of solids and water is allowed to settle out (either in geotextile tubes or an open disposal basin), and the clean water is allowed to flow back to the waterbody.
The answer is no if the muck is removed by our hydraulic dredging method. In this eco-friendly process, fish and other aquatic life are not harmed.
There is very little unpleasant odor during the hydraulic dredging process. We have never had any complaints about odor on any of our projects.
The cost of dredging varies dramatically depending on a number of factors. Size of the project, type of disposal method, distance to the disposal site, site layout, project location, depth and sediment thickness, and material type are among the many factors that influence the cost. Dredging, regardless of the method used, is a major cost and is something that needs to be planned for many years in advance.
When it comes to pond sediment and sludge, dewatering refers to the process of removing the water component of the sediment. When sediment is sitting on the bottom of your pond, it actually contains more water than solid material. That is why when it is scooped out mechanically, it acts more like wet cement. The most expensive part of the dredging process is actually separating that water from the solid material.
Geotextile tubes are large containers (generally about 100 feet long x 30 feet wide x 6 feet tall) made of a very heavy-duty porous fabric that allows the solids to be retained in the tube while simultaneously allowing the water to filter out through the pores.
In dredging and dewatering terms, a polymer refers to a substance that is added to the slurry in the pipeline to aid in separating the solids from the water. The polymers cause the very small solid particles to bond together in clumps and settle out faster. The polymers that we use were developed by the water treatment industry and are used to clarify drinking water and are not harmful when used properly.
Typically, various permits are needed for dredging. Most of the time we are able to handle the permitting process for you. We contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state environmental and natural resource agencies, and local authorities. All states vary in their requirements. For situations that involve more complex issues, such as filling in a floodway or working in a restricted wetland, we will need the help of an outside consultant.
We are based in the Indianapolis area, and we cover all of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan.