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R&D projects
The ECODREDGE-MED Project: Eco-technology for port sediment management and dredging operations
A Water Competitiveness Cluster label awarded project.

Project manager: The Port Camargue Independent Port Authority.


Contractors: BRL Ingénierie, SOLS Med and BEC
Research laboratories Armines-LGEI, CNRS-Hydrosciences and IRD-ECOSYM

ECODREDGE-MED focuses on developing eco-technologies for water. These technologies have already been tested for combined sewer cleaning in towns and have now been specifically adjusted for port sediment cleaning and on the spot processing for sediment recycling.

Project goals :

ECODREDGE-MED is a project that assembles a chain of equipment on a series of barges: a suction dredger, sediment particle size calibrators, and storage units for grain sizes up to 40 microns. After calibration, larger grain sizes can be transported by barge to places where they are needed for use, either by sea or by inland waterways (the Rhone to Sète Canal). The finer materials likely to be contaminated by toxic substances are either re-deposited in the port as the dredging work progresses, or collected in a conventional manner for disposal.

Setting up a whole work site on board barges has never been done before; yet the method has numerous advantages: the operations are not fragmented because there are several different sites (dredging, storage, processing); precious urban or protected coastal space is kept free instead of having to store dredging spoil; and the materials are carried by barge to avoid the adverse effects of road transport (the risk of spillage, damage to road surfaces, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.).

The project also concerns the recycling of the dredging spoil so it can be used on nearby work sites within barge transport distances. One of the preferential uses of the sediment thus collected is to help local authorities anticipate a rise in sea level (beach nourishment, sand dune construction, raising linear facilities, building concrete protection structures...). When dredging operations are managed like this, they are no longer a bind for the community; they are a potential source of sand materials. Adopting this principle would mean that long term dredging schedules could be based on dredging to meet the demand for materials instead of on dredging and having to decide what to do with the materials.

Financed by : European Union (FEDER)