Difficulties with polluted sediments. Polluted sediments exist in many locations in the watercourses, estuaries and seas adjacent to industrial facilities. The legacy of these pollutants can be detrimental unless mitigated. Techniques can involve extensive dredging and replacement operations, but these have numerous risks and very high costs.
New technique of on-site capping
A new technique involves the in-situ containment of underwater polluted silt material. This removes the requirement to excavate and dispose of the contaminated material off-site. Isolating or capping the polluted area from the surrounding environment involves combinations of impermeable membranes, sands, gravels and erosion protection layers.
Various considerations for an appropriate solution. The selection of the appropriate solution involves many disciplines; geotechnical, hydrodynamic, regulatory, sediment characterisation and uses of the waterway. This broad analysis should also consider and address the potential changes to littoral transportation and erosion in the area.
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