Mechanical Dredging

Mechanical dredging implies that sediment is removed via standard “mechanical” means such as backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, or any similar combination thereof; essentially mechanical land vehicles. While that is not a textbook or technically derived definition, it applies for most inland water bodies in the midwest. Significant water bodies (large rivers, Great Lakes, and coastal regions) will use other mechanical means such as cranes with various types of cabling and elaborate extensions or in-water float supported mechanical means, however for the sake of most inland water bodies this will not be the case because the cost structure for many of those projects is potentially in the multi-million dollar range and therefore not representative of most lakes, backwater navigational or recreational access projects in Wisconsin.

Mechanical means is often a preferred method of working for a single landowner or contiguous group of landowners who needs a cleanout around piers or a boat launch. It is often more preferable for the maintenance of a stormwater management basin as well, the later which can typically be dewatered with less consequence because it is a known man-made, artificial structure. Access is often key but there are many things that can drive a mechanical dredging job such as: