Process Ponds

Earth day is a great reminder to all of us in the dredging industry, it reminds us just how important each and every one of our people are to the sustainability of our society and environment. We celebrate Earth Day to demonstrate support for environmental protection, yet it has always amazed me at how few people know or understand how greatly dredging impacts our day to day lives.

"Earth day is a great reminder to all of us in the dredging industry, it reminds us just how important each and every one of our people are to the sustainability of our society and environment."
Wesley Hamm, VMI, Inc. Sales Manager 

It’s no secret that in developing countries there is a massive issue with water source contamination due to the lacking or non-existent regulations regarding waste management. Yet, on the other side of that coin in developed countries the majority of people wouldn’t hesitate to drink from a random hose spigot largely thanks to the men and women who handle the task of containing, treating and properly disposing of large amounts of waste material that could otherwise contaminate our groundwater.

The everyday household items that we all know and love from cleaners and detergents to the vast array of petroleum products, that make our lives go round, all produce some sort of byproduct that must be separated and contained in an alternate location. Many of these processes utilize tanks or lined ponds to hold a wide variety of suspended solids such as river sediments from cooling process water; heavy slurries pumped through miles of pipeline to recover mined materials such as gold, copper and large numbers of minerals; and even bio-solids that are processed through waste treatment facilities.


Over the course of years, the overall holding capacity of these ponds greatly diminishes and without hydraulic dredges we would be forced to mechanically excavate them. Mechanical excavation of these ponds compared to hydraulic dredging greatly increases the overall cost to handle the materials, decreases the efficiency of the project, and depending on the process, may require the use of the pond to be shut down due to excessive turbidity or disturbance of the pond. Hydraulic transportation of these materials is not only more efficient, but in a totally contained piping system, it is much safer and cleaner than manual excavation.

Hydraulic dredges allow us to restore holding capacity to these ponds helping us to maintain containment and capacity for the integrity of our environment for future generations to enjoy. Rarely, if ever, do we stop and think to ourselves, “I sure hope the dredging crew gets that project at the waste treatment pond going soon so our city waste system continues to function efficiently.” More than likely we tend to treat it as though it’s just another system in our infrastructure that “just works” but is essential to our way of life. 

After a decade dredging process ponds, I have gained a tremendous respect for not only the sustainability of our environment but the men and women that perform these tasks. They work long days away from home to ensure that these processes continue to run at optimal efficiency while rarely being recognized for their hard work largely due to the fact that these facilities are generally located out of eyesight. So, this Earth Day, the team at VMI Inc. would like to show its support for protecting our environment by thanking all the hardworking men and women who make up the tip of the spear for our industry and continuously improve on creating a more efficient and sustainable way of life. Thank you!  

Anyone in need of dredging equipment, supplies, training or service don’t hesitate to reach out to the staff at VMI Inc. It is and has been our pleasure supplying and supporting dredge crews for 50 years and we look forward to many more years of assisting you all!


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