The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Port 1 restarts marina dredging project


November 1, 2018

Diana Zimmerman

Port personnel were completing last minute tasks this week to prepare for their dredge window which opens today, Thursday, November 1. L-r are Assistant Port Manager Todd Souvenir, Dredge crew member Dennis Mueller, and Port Manager Jackie Lea.

Wahkiakum County Port 1 began their second season of dredging today (Thursday).

The window for dredging is open from November 1 until February 28. The port will begin dredging at the fuel dock and move out to the channel until December 31, and work inside the marina during the months of January and February, as their permit allows.

On Tuesday, the dredging crew was building a spillway and pool at the site of the former sewer ponds. The pool will hold the dredge spoils that will be pumped from the channel and marina in the next four months.

It takes a lot of water to shift the spoils as they move from the dredge through the pipes to the ponds. According to Commissioner Bob Kizziar, the mix is 80 percent water and 20 percent sediment. The port is following a dewatering plan set up by the Department of Ecology and the design of the sewer ponds has been advantageous to the process.

Dewatering takes a long time. The port had been advised some time ago that it would be wise to wait to bring in any large equipment to move any of the spoils, but it really hit home on Tuesday. As they were moving earth in the first pond, they realized just how boggy it still was. Eight months after they finished their first season of dredging, Dennis Mueller, a member of the dredge crew, stood in the middle of a pond that appeared dry and discovered that when he jumped up and down, the land would move much like a waterbed.

The engine of the port's tugboat has been rebuilt. The dredge has been cleaned and painted, and maintenance has been completed. The pipe has been laid. The port has hired three people for the project and are in the process of hiring a fourth. The crew will work four 10 hour days a week until the end of February when the dredging window closes for another year.

"Everything looks good and seems to be running good," Assistant Port Manager Todd Souvenir said. "I think we're ready to go as soon as we get the spillway and the diking set up."


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