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Module 2: Why Turbidity Monitoring is Essential Copy

September 1, 2021

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”886″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Dredging is a common and economically viable solution for the removal and subsequent treatment of contaminated sediment. If executed properly, dredging can yield positive environmental results without harming water quality conditions. Dredging operations should aim to remove sediment as efficiently as possible while diminishing short-term environmental impacts, most notably the re-suspension of potentially contaminated sediments.

To minimize sediment re-suspension and contaminant release, a monitoring system should be established. Sediment can easily be dislodged by dredging and dispersed into the water column. This re-suspension may damage water quality both in the immediate vicinity as well as downstream as it travels with the current. Additionally, if the suspended sediment is contaminated, it can release toxins into the water and air. Effective monitoring of re-suspended sediments for the duration of dredging operations is crucial to maintaining acceptable water quality levels for both wildlife and humans.

For this reason, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offer extensive guidelines estimating the environmental consequences of a dredge. The guides also emphasize the need to monitor these effects as the dredging operation occurs in order to keep any re-suspension and transport under control. These monitoring efforts allow project managers to respond if re-suspended sediment levels exceed pre-established parameters by slowing down or altering the dredging.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]