Dredging Up A New Idea


Dredging Up A New Idea

Using remote dredging technology for golf course ponds

Written by: Patrick J. Gross
This article provides a description of the dredging problems faced by the Canyon Lake Golf Community in Canyon Lake, California, and the use of remote dredging to address the sediment buildup in the lake. Key takeaways for pond aeration:


  • Layers of sediment buildup and an increase in algae and water weeds contaminate ponds on golf courses over the years, resulting in the need to dredge the pond. This can be very costly, disruptive, and time consuming.
  • The overall cost of processing sediment ranges from $4 to $7 per cubic yard. This does not include the cost of hauling or disposing of sediment, which is the most expensive aspect of the operation.


  • Analysis of Canyon Lake found that more than 225,000 cubic yards of sediment needed to be removed to restore the lake.
  • The expense, disruption, and extended time period to drain the lake and remove the sediment with large, earthmoving equipment was not a desirable option.
  • Remote dredging involves placing a small, floating dredge in the lake that has a hydraulically controlled flexible pipe with a suction head device that vacuums the sediment off the bottom of the lake and pumps it up to three miles away.
  • The sediment is processed by:
    • Rocks and larger debris are separated through a processing screen.
    • Polymers and flocculants are injected into the slurry.
    • Treated slurry is then pumped to a dewatering bin.
    • Clean drainage water flows out the bottom of the bin and is pumped back into the lake.
    • Dried sediment is hauled to a nearby construction site for use as fill material.
  • Remote dredging technology provides several benefits to golf courses
    • Reduced damage to the course and areas immediately surrounding the water bodies.
    • Fewer disruptions to golfing operations by pumping sediment up to three miles away from the dredging site.
    • Water body does not need to be drained.
    • Removal of sediment increases overall water storage capacity.

Published: 2007 United States Golf Association, Green Section Record May/June 2007

Link to Full Article

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