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Dewatering Methods Ensure Construction Site Safety by Andrew Stratton

Dewatering Methods Ensure Construction Site Safety by
Article Posted: 07/14/2014
Article Views: 102
Articles Written: 5522
Word Count: 527
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Dewatering Methods Ensure Construction Site Safety

Various industrial and construction processes require dewatering, or removal of the water in the soil. The process involves separating liquids and solids through a variety of methods. Lowering groundwater levels is an important part of the construction process because it allows for excavations to be done under dry, stable conditions. As the construction process moves forward, it is important to also control surface water resulting from rainfall, the installation of concrete, or washing, to prevent the soil from becoming saturated and unstable. Although there are a number of mechanical devices that can be used in the process, there are also several simple ways to remove moisture from the area. One of the easiest ways to dewater an area is by using gravity. One method involves digging drainage channels to direct water away from the site. Others include scooping and dumping water using construction machinery buckets, or pumping the water away. One important thing to remember throughout this process is to protect the soil around the area you are drying from erosion. Ditch linings can protect channels, and care should be taken to reduce the liquid's velocity. Riprap revetment with geotextile can be used to protect the discharge site from erosion. Some of the most common dewatering methods include sump pumping, well points, deep wells, and eductor wells. Sump pumping is a simple and cost-effective solution. This process pumps away water that has pooled within the deeper parts of the excavation. However, it is only effective for coarser soils and fissured rock. The well points method involves installing small-diameter, shallow wells in a line or ring formation around the excavation. It is a good option for dewatering in sands and gravels, or a combination of the two. This method is limited by suction lift limits of about 15 to 20 feet below the pump. The deep wells method is suited to a variety of ground conditions, including sands, gravels, and fissured rocks. At sites using the deep wells method, wells are drilled in a ring outside the excavation some distance apart, and an electric submersible pump is installed in each well. Finally, eductor wells are an effective method of dewatering in low permeability soils, such as silts and sands. This method is effective because it successfully reduces pore water pressures to stabilize the silts and sands. Similar to the other methods, eductor wells are drilled around or alongside the excavation site. The limitation of this system is that it should only be used when well yields are as low as eight to 15 gallons per minute per well. The drawdown is also limited to about 100 to 165 feet below the wells. Regardless of the method selected for dewatering, it is important that you pay attention to where the water is being discharged. The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act requires that water discharged into a navigable waterway be filtered. The filtration method can be incorporated into the process, and the solution might be as simple as attaching a filter bag or sediment tank to the pump used.

When considering implementing dewatering, Michigan residents trust MW Watermark LLC. Learn more about these services at

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