Mechanically removing sediment is extremely disruptive to the aquatic ecosystem, not to mention the costly relocation to a landfill. Removing sediment and organic matters also removes the plants and animals of the bottom community, which form the basis of life for higher animals. Further, dredging does not often consider what the natural contours of a waterway should be. Near-shore areas are deepened, eliminating shallow habitats, spawning and rearing grounds, changing natural flow patterns and precluding recreational uses such as swimming.
The sudden increase in turbidity further degrades water quality, stressing fish and other organisms, sometimes fatally. The changes in light patterns throw off reproductive cycles. It can take weeks for the water to settle down, and in the end, the system is completely unbalanced.
Using nature to heal itself is a gentle yet powerful way to treat a disturbed ecosystem. Water quality problems are often due to a combination of factors and are manifested in a number of ways. Poor water quality does not end with sludge removal.
The water column may be polluted by industrial effluent containing everything from table salt to cyanide. Storm water runoff and sewer discharge may contain fertilizer, pesticides, road salt, oil and gas. It is the combination of these pollutants in addition to the detriments of sludge that leads to a dying ecosystem.
Beneficial microorganisms have evolved for millions of years, in any number of habitats, with an appetite for a surprising number of compounds. Indeed, one of their roles in nature is to turn complex substances, no longer usable to other life forms, back into simple, usable compounds.
Introducing beneficial microorganisms in large quantities into a polluted system merely transplants nature's engineering to the right place at the right time. Beneficial microorganisms will degrade sludge and pollutants dissolved in the water column, turning them into carbon dioxide and water. As the system returns to normal, the water becomes clear, the sludge disappears, and nature takes over, restabilizing the topography and ecology. The microorganisms themselves will die back to a normal population once their food source is diminished.
Bio-Dredging is both more complete as a treatment and far less expensive than mechanical treatment. Wet dredging has been estimated to cost approximately $15.00 to $50.00 per cubic yard of sludge, depending on the level of contamination plus transportation and disposal of contaminated sludge, while our proprietary techniques and systems are 1/3 the cost for each cubic yard of organic sludge (depending on the level of contamination).
In some cases, additional equipment, such as aerators, bioreactors, and other proprietary devices are needed, however, total cost is still well below that of dredging. Biodredging avoids unsightly machinery, ramp building and mounds of sludge. It also avoids creating a secondary environmental problem: disposing of the sludge.
There are few limitations:
Beneficial microorganisms cannot degrade dirt, rock, sand or other inorganic substances. They work slower in fluctuating extremes of temperature. Otherwise, there are few limitations. If necessary, non-organic matters can be safely siphoned onshore or to nearby areas after organic and toxic matters are eliminated by our treatment mehtods.