Most people only think of dredging when they are forced to, rather than using it as a proactive means to maintain a healthy body of water. Usually, when you wait until you have to dredge, the damage is already done.
Think about it like your health: it’s much better to be proactive about your health, rather than waiting until something is wrong to make healthy lifestyle choices. Bodies of water are no different: they’re living ecosystems, and here are 5 ways dredging can help you be proactive instead of reactive – which will save you money, headaches, and be less damaging in the long run.
Regular Dredging Prevents Catastrophic Flooding
Flooding is one of the most damaging acts of nature. Whether you’re protecting property, livestock or infrastructure, flooding can wipe out decades of progress. Although you can estimate a few things, spring runoff, or high-volume rain storms are often very difficult to predict.
Dredging is one of the best ways to prepare for a flood event. Over the years, silt will build up in waterways, streams, ponds, and lakes, which decreases their ability to handle large fluctuations in the volume of water. This is especially true for bodies of water that have heavy recreational use. Boating and beaches all contribute to erosion and adding additional silt to the water.
You can reclaim significant capacity simply by dredging on a regular schedule. Major flood events may only occur once a decade, but due to their unpredictable nature, it’s better to dredge before than to wish you had later.
By reclaiming capacity, you’ll be able to collect more water in the event a flood occurs. Monitoring water levels throughout the year can help you determine how much capacity you’re losing on an annual basis. However, because water levels can fluctuate so much from year-to-year, your best bet is to stick to a dredging schedule to prevent problems before they occur.
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Dredging Removes Debris and Flow Restrictions
Over many years, blockages can build up in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes that may go unnoticed. These blockages can drastically change the health of your water, and the entire ecosystem. These blockages not only remove the ability for fish to move freely around spawning areas, they can affect all of the wildlife in the area.
When you dredge, you’re restoring the river to a more natural state by removing human debris and other items causing flow restrictions. Fallen trees, human garbage and beaver dams are all destructive blockages that can affect water quality. Removing them will promote a healthier ecosystem, and also help to prevent the flooding issues mentioned above.
Although we’ve already touched on flooding, it’s important to note that blockages that build up over time can create flooding in areas where it’s never before occurred. These events are almost always a surprise, even though the build up may have taken years.
Lastly, these build ups often occur under water where they go unnoticed. Even a simple rock falling into a river can create a cascading effect where more debris that would otherwise flow freely is stopped and makes the issue worse. Dredging easily identifies these areas and clears them out.
Create a Healthy Ecosystem By Dredging Regularly
Although dredging is rarely required on an annual basis, to keep your underwater ecosystem healthy you’ll want to ensure you’re not waiting too long to address issues. Water is the lifeblood of any ecosystem, and even small changes can have profound effects.
Animals require a reliable source of water. Small changes in the quality of your water or the quantity of the water can affect habitats in major ways. The food chain is so sensitive that it just takes one animal changing migratory patterns, or moving dens or nests to search for water, and your entire food chain can be affected.
Once this occurs, invasive plant species or pests with fewer predators are allowed to take over, further degrading the ecosystem. By dredging on a regular schedule, you can ensure there are as few changes to their habitat as possible.
Prevent Shoreline Erosion
Erosion is going to occur in any body of water. Unless you install expensive and ugly retaining walls, erosion rocks, or metal barriers, you should expect some erosion. Dredging will help minimize shoreline erosion by keeping water exactly where it’s supposed to be.
The build of debris and silt in your body of water is not only bad for the reasons previously mentioned, but also because allowing water levels to constantly rise will increase the rate of erosion that naturally occurs.
When you dredge, you’re keeping water levels at a normal level rather than allowing them to reach new heights and eat away at more earth. This extra erosion starts to take the shoreline plants and trees with it by eliminating the soil their roots are buried in.
If not kept in check, erosion will lead to wider, shallower streams and ponds. Erosion eats away at shoreline soil and deposits it into the middle of the body of water. This process occurs thousands of times a day – and even more when recreational activity is prominent in the water. Dredging will help keep your water flowing at a safe level to prevent accelerated erosion.
Enjoy a Cleaner Healthier Pond
One of the best ways to promote cleaner, healthier water, is to ensure you’re taking the time to do a little house cleaning on your pond. As mentioned earlier, all kinds of debris and silt make their way into your pond. Just as your living room needs the occasional vacuum, so does your pond. Just imagine what would happen if you didn’t vacuum for 20 years!
Removing harmful objects from your pond by dredging, and ensuring fish and wildlife have the depth they require to continue to thrive will keep your pond healthier and cleaner. Whether you fish, swim or just enjoy the beauty of the water, it’s great knowing that it’s as clean as possible.
Overall, being proactive in dredging your bodies of water will help keep your ecosystem stable for a longer period of time. Waiting until you have a flood, or migratory extinction will make it harder to recover in the long run.
Be proactive, have a plan, and regularly dredge your waters, and they’ll be healthy for generations to come!
If you are interested in a quote or to get a professional opinion on dredging, contact us by email at email@example.com or by phone at (864) 848-1312.