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I live on the outlet of a lake. The bottom near my shoreline is essentially 2 to 3 feet of semi-decomposed organic matter.

I tried using a 3" trash pump and separate fire hose pump as a makeshift dredge. The fire hose loosened and suspended the bottom matter OK, but the suction screen on the trash pump plugged up almost instantly. Removing the screen (there are no rocks) clogged up the trash pump just about as instantly.

I'm looking for alternative ideas. The water isn't very deep - waist high after you sink into the gunk - and the area I want to clear isn't very large. I have a 30 foot dock and I'd be happy just clearing a bit over boat width on either side. I can't get a tractor too close to the water's edge without sinking - about 20 feet. I was thinking of making a scaled down dragline using a 55 gallon drum that I could pull through the stuff with a long chain attached to the tractor. A benefit of having grown male adult children is that I can conscript them into the job of dragging the empty dredge back out into the water to the starting point after dumping the spoils.

This isn't a lot different than dredging a small pond with the exception that I obviously can't drain the body of water. I can afford to be inefficient since it is a small area. Shovels are out of the question if I wish to have a continuing relationship with my kids.

Any fresh ideas out there?

Al
 

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I live on the outlet of a lake. The bottom near my shoreline is essentially 2 to 3 feet of semi-decomposed organic matter.

I tried using a 3" trash pump and separate fire hose pump as a makeshift dredge. The fire hose loosened and suspended the bottom matter OK, but the suction screen on the trash pump plugged up almost instantly. Removing the screen (there are no rocks) clogged up the trash pump just about as instantly.

I'm looking for alternative ideas. The water isn't very deep - waist high after you sink into the gunk - and the area I want to clear isn't very large. I have a 30 foot dock and I'd be happy just clearing a bit over boat width on either side. I can't get a tractor too close to the water's edge without sinking - about 20 feet. I was thinking of making a scaled down dragline using a 55 gallon drum that I could pull through the stuff with a long chain attached to the tractor. A benefit of having grown male adult children is that I can conscript them into the job of dragging the empty dredge back out into the water to the starting point after dumping the spoils.

This isn't a lot different than dredging a small pond with the exception that I obviously can't drain the body of water. I can afford to be inefficient since it is a small area. Shovels are out of the question if I wish to have a continuing relationship with my kids.

Any fresh ideas out there?
Al
Several years ago, when I was working, we used a gas powered sludge pump to pump debris from manholes, storm water ponds, and the like. It didn't have an impeller, but used a diaphragm as the pumping mechanism. The intake of debris was on the up cycle and it was expelled on the down cycle. It would pump just about anything we stuck the intake hose into. You may be able to rent one. My only other suggestion would be something similar to a pump truck, the type that pumps out underground sewage tanks. I know they will pump heavy sludge and debris too but I don't know how you'd get your hands on one.
 

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Sounds like a good Family Project. Keep us informed what happens :munch::munch:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Several years ago, when I was working, we used a gas powered sludge pump to pump debris from manholes, storm water ponds, and the like. It didn't have an impeller, but used a diaphragm as the pumping mechanism. The intake of debris was on the up cycle and it was expelled on the down cycle. It would pump just about anything we stuck the intake hose into. You may be able to rent one. My only other suggestion would be something similar to a pump truck, the type that pumps out underground sewage tanks. I know they will pump heavy sludge and debris too but I don't know how you'd get your hands on one.
I had thought about a diaphragm pump. The issue with this gunk is that it has a lot of vegetative matter in it - sticks, twigs and long stringy weeds - that I'm afraid would be just as likely to clog the valves even in that type of pump. If I could find one to rent maybe it is at least worth a try. I have 2 neighbors that want to do the same thing but they are waiting for me to be the guinea pig, errr, trailblazer.

Al
 

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You say you live at the outlet,,,
rig up an 8 or 10 inch siphon,, no pump is needed,,,
stir up the bottom with your fire hose pump, the sludge will siphon right out of the pond.

A 10 inch pipe will empty the pond in a hurry,, unless there is a big in-flow,,
you would need to do it several times,,

There is almost zero chance the siphon pipe could ever clog,,,
 

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"There is almost zero chance the siphon pipe could ever clog,,,"


I love the ALMOST Zero% Good luck
 

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My friend owns a dredging company called Keene engineering they make suction nozzles that will pick up anything and not get clogged it's a Venturi effect you run water fast past an opening and water gets drawn into the opening and continues on down, it's how we dredge gravel to look for gold you should be able to fabricate something that would achieve the same thing
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You say you live at the outlet,,,
rig up an 8 or 10 inch siphon,, no pump is needed,,,
stir up the bottom with your fire hose pump, the sludge will siphon right out of the pond.

A 10 inch pipe will empty the pond in a hurry,, unless there is a big in-flow,,
you would need to do it several times,,

There is almost zero chance the siphon pipe could ever clog,,,
The lake is natural. There is an impound dam about 1/4 mile away from me that enhances the level by a couple of feet, but a pure siphon would not work in my yard unless I dug a big hole. I'm familiar with, and thought about, a lift siphon (don't know what they are formally called, but similar to what is used in excavating shipwrecks) but they require quite a bit of compressed air to make them work. I don't need to attract too much attention here, if you catch my drift.

Al
 

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Guess an excavator is out

The lake is natural. There is an impound dam about 1/4 mile away from me that enhances the level by a couple of feet, but a pure siphon would not work in my yard unless I dug a big hole. I'm familiar with, and thought about, a lift siphon (don't know what they are formally called, but similar to what is used in excavating shipwrecks) but they require quite a bit of compressed air to make them work. I don't need to attract too much attention here, if you catch my drift.

Al
LOL, my thought was to rent an excavator but nothing like a 60,000 lb machine to attract attention. On the other hand, your neighbors might want their shorelines cleaned. . .

Treefarmer
 

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My daughter lives in Missouri in a subdivision that is below the main sewer lines for their city's sewage system. So their sewage must be pumped up out of their subdivision to get into the main system. Their home has a "grinder" pump that takes the sewage from their home and pulverizes it into slurry for easy pumping (which takes place away from their property). A grinder pump might work for you if clogging from material is your problem.
 

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Pump dredging is messy as all get out unless you have a containment built and have the the time for the spoils to settle and and dry.
A long reach excavator would be more ideal but still makes a mess. Butt you'll remove less water and more mud.
Or you could use one of these clams like we did a few years ago to do part of the Delaware river.:mocking:

086-vi.jpg

061-vi.jpg

052-vi.jpg
 

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My friend owns a dredging company called Keene engineering they make suction nozzles that will pick up anything and not get clogged it's a Venturi effect you run water fast past an opening and water gets drawn into the opening and continues on down, it's how we dredge gravel to look for gold you should be able to fabricate something that would achieve the same thing
That’s exactly what I was going to suggest. We used them in the Navy for emptying bilges. We called them eductors.
 

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L o n g r e a c h

Pump dredging is messy as all get out unless you have a containment built and have the the time for the spoils to settle and and dry.
A long reach excavator would be more ideal but still makes a mess. Butt you'll remove less water and more mud.
Or you could use one of these clams like we did a few years ago to do part of the Delaware river.:mocking:

View attachment 618282

View attachment 618290

View attachment 618298
Heck of a boom and dipper on that rig. I might need binoculars to see at the end of it.

Treefarmer
 

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I have two, not fully grown sons. I can appreciate wanting to use them for cheap labor. I will admit that I read about 3/4 of you first post and then scrolling down. While I was reading the other responses, in my head I was thinking of using the tractor from a distance and pulling the drum. I went back up to reread your first post and essentially, I am thinking exactly what you were. I was thinking of cutting about a third of the drum off lengthwise to make it somewhat of half a clamshell bucket, then drag that, guided by your sons. I'd try that, it's cheap and easy and not much to lose. Keep us posted
 
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