U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division




Excavation is generally performed on sediments that have been partially dewatered in place. Typically a coffer dam is built in the area to be excavated and the sediments are removed with conventional construction equipment. Excavated sediments generally have considerably less water content than dredged sediments, which makes them easier to handle. For smaller running water bodies the water can be diverted from the contaminated channel and the sediments excavated and replaced with clean fill. The success of either of these methods depends on the lack of an uplands source.

Case Studies

Housatonic River 1 1/2 Mile
USEPA, Region 1

This Web page describes PCB sediment cleanup activities in the Housatonic River. The approach utilized two dry excavation methods. The first involves using sheet piling to create cofferdams within which excavation equipment can extract contaminated sediment. The second is to temporarily divert the surface water from the contaminated channel, excavate the sediment, restore the channel contours, and reintroduce the river flow.

Adobe PDF LogoRemediation of Contaminated Sediment at the Unnamed Tributary to the Ottawa River, Summary Report January 2000
Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Inc.
USEPA, Great Lakes National Program Office, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and City of Toledo, 24 pp, 2000

Other Sediments Remediation Topics:

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