Whether it be to capture contaminated sediments, recuperate valuable organics or process by-products from a pond, or to create capacity within treatment ponds, tailings ponds and lagoons, hydraulic dredging operations can be followed by a passive sludge dewatering operation, using polymers and filter (geotextile) bags.

The first step of a passive sludge dewatering operation requires the injection of polymers directly into the pipeline carrying the sludge. The injected polymers get mixed into the sludge while being displaced towards the filter bags and “capture” the solid particles within the sludge, creating a barrier between the solid particles and the water molecules. This causes the solids to “precipitate”, and separates them from the water molecules, enhancing the speed, and efficiency, of the dewatering operation. To ensure maximum efficiency of the dewatering process, polymer dosing is constantly monitored.

Once the sludge arrives into the filter (geotextile) bags, the process of separating the solids from the liquids has already begun. This then allows for the deposition of the solids at the bottom of the filter bags while the water is being “forced” to evacuate through the geotextile fabric of the filter bags because of the pressure being applied against the filter bags’ walls.

The period of time required to decant sludge will vary depending of the type of material being dewatered (silt, sand, tailings, etc.). Ideally, the bags should be allowed to decant for several weeks to ensure maximum dewatering, thus facilitating the final disposal of the material.
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