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Florida Lake Management Society Annual Conference, Naples, Florida, June 4 – 7, 2007

The Evolution of Sediment Removal Technology for Restoring Subtropical Lake Systems in Land-Limited Landscapes

John Kiefer, PE and Walter R. Reigner, PE BCI Engineers and Scientists, Inc.

Over the last twenty years, land has become an increasingly precious commodity in Florida, and the science associated with sediment removal in subtropical lake systems has necessarily matured in response to the decreasing availability of affordable land. The early “pump and dump” mentality has been increasingly replaced with sophisticated dewatering and water clarification/ treatment processes to greatly reduce land area requirements for sediment placement. Improvements in chemical effectiveness and enhancements in physical separation equipment combined with the adaptation of proven wastewater solids handling practices have even made it feasible to restore lake bottoms in highly urbanized watersheds. Without such innovation, urban lakes would be impractical to restore from a cost standpoint; thus resulting in the eventual loss of a valuable natural resource that is common to many of Florida’s high growth areas and vital to the health of Florida’s economy. Also, creative ideas have been developed to maximize the beneficial placement of dewatered sediment to improve the characteristics of altered terrestrial and aquatic landscapes. This includes capping contaminated soils, restoring grade at subsided muck farms, creating habitat islands in lakes, deflecting currents in open water bodies, and as organic soil amendments for wetland restoration or farming. This presentation will summarize and discuss the changes that have occurred to sediment removal and use over time and provide case studies that document the incremental advancements in the science of sediment dewatering as it relates to navigation improvements, water quality enhancement, and habitat enrichment.



Session 8A – Page 2

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