dredging techniques could have big impact on Burnham's estuary
techniques for dredging the River Parrett are being tested this
November and December, as Somerset Rivers Authority seeks cheaper
and better ways of maintaining tidal rivers.
weeks of trials are being carried out between Westonzoyland Pumping
Station and Burrowbridge to see how effective water injection dredging
and agitation dredging can be at getting silt moving down to Bridgwater
Bay and preserving the River Parretts capacity.
locals in Burnham-On-Sea believe the new techniques could lead to
extra silt gathering in the estuary at Burnham, creating new sand
banks and building up local beaches over time.
techniques being trialled for Somerset Rivers Authority are water
injection dredging and agitation dredging - two ways to keep silt
moving downstream on an outgoing tide when the water can carry it
vessel being used on the Parrett for the work is called Borr. Having
been delivered to Dunball Wharf in halves, then re-assembled, the
Borr is now set to motor upstream through Bridgwater on Saturday
night (12th November).
weeks of trials are due to start on Monday 14th November, in conjunction
with detailed monitoring before, during and after. Along the trials
section, there is 150% more silt than there was in April and in
places, four times as much, says the SRA.
therefore carries on from where 2.2km of maintenance dredging was
finished earlier this year by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board
for the SRA. That dredging, and the trials, aim to maintain the
8km of river dredged in 2014.
John Osman, SRA chairman, said this week: "This is the first
time that such trials have been done on the Parrett in conjunction
with a long-term programme of detailed monitoring."
new methods offer Somerset big benefits: done at the right times,
in the right places, they could be much cheaper, more effective,
and better for the environment, local residents and farmers."
trials are being delivered for the SRA by the Parrett Internal Drainage
Board with contractors Van Oord.