Sludge and Muck Removal

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Jump To: Options for Sludge & Muck RemovalLarge Muck Removal Jobs | Mid-Size Muck Removal Jobs | Small Muck Removal Jobs

There are few things more unappealing to the eye than a pond or a lake covered in sludge. If muck is covering the bottom of your pond, it can transform what would otherwise be a beautiful spot into a place no one wants to visit. Beyond looking unpleasant, muck can also be damaging for your pond’s eco-system by shutting out the oxygen needed to keep your pond-life healthy. Sludge can even smell bad, making it unpleasant to be around the water.

It should come as no surprise that, for most people, getting rid of lake muck is high on their list of priorities. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. It isn’t as simple as scooping this organic matter out of the water and disposing of it. Jobs like this often require a professional touch and the help of a high-quality submersible pump.

If you’ve never worked with these types of pumps before, it can be tricky to know where to start. With many different models available, how is a person to know which is best for their particular situation? Which pumps are best for small jobs and which are best suited to more complex tasks? Which are great for open areas and which are better for tight, hard-to-maneuver spots? Today, we want to walk you through some of the top pumps out there, as well as which jobs they’ll be best suited to.

Options for Sludge and Muck Removal

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Thinking about clearing some of the muck out of your pond? There are many different ways to do this. Submersible pumps are one of the best options, but they aren’t the only one. Depending on your situation, a few of the pond muck removal tools you’ll choose between include:

  • Large dredges
  • Aeration
  • Submersible pumps
  • Portable dredges
  • Mud and muck shovels
  • Bacteria and enzymes

Let’s talk about each of these options in more depth, including what they are, how to use them, and where you can best apply them.

What Should You Use for Large Sludge Removal Jobs?

Are you dealing with a large pond or lake? Worried that there’s an exceptionally high amount of sludge and muck to clean up? We classify this as a large job. For this type of situation, we recommend using a large dredge.

1. Large Dredges

For a large project, you’ll need an equally large tool to get the job done. Industrial dredges are generally the route people will go when it comes to large dredging projects. Some of these dredges are designed to dredge oceans and other large bodies of water, and the vessels used can be larger than an entire football field.

If your project is smaller scale and doesn’t recommend an industrial dredge, the Dino8 may be a good fit. As our largest and most powerful dredge yet, the Dino8 is built to remove the accumulated muck and slime from your lakelarge pond, or other body of water. The Dino8 is designed to function in the same way you’ll already be familiar with if you’ve ever worked with smaller dredges, but with greater power and performance than that of these smaller machines. This makes them equal to the task of bigger projects than you might safely attempt with a small dredge.

Among the most notable features of the Dino8 are its simple and serviceable system, proven diesel reliability and consistently excellent performance, all of which work together to make your job shorter and more manageable. The Dino8 can pump 3,000 gallons in a minute, even over long distances, all while still maintaining the simple controls which make it easy and intuitive to use. With an 8-inch pump and an 18-inch draft, this dredge sacrifices none of the power you’ll need all while still staying contained in an efficient package perfect for your large scale dredging project.

Because the Dino8 is our largest machine, you may find it more challenging to maneuver in tight areas that the Dino6 can easily get to. For this reason, it’s intended for larger-scale projects that the Dino6 may not have the depth or size to handle. There are a lot of benefits to the Dino8’s larger size. It has twice the pumping capacity of its smaller counterpart, the Dino6, making it extremely practical where increased volumes of liquid and sludge need to be removed.

As mentioned above, if your project portfolio contains mostly muck removal jobs for seas and oceans, a larger vessel may be the better option, despite its heavy environmental impact.

What Should You Use for Mid-Sized Sludge Removal Jobs?

Mid-sized jobs are still sizeable but are not quite as extreme as large jobs. This may be because the size of the pond is smaller or because there’s less muck to dredge up. In either case, the task will be less difficult, meaning that while a large dredge would certainly do the trick, it may also be more powerful than is necessary for this work. Instead, there are less powerful tools you can turn to for solutions. Let’s examine them now.

1. Aeration

Aeration is just one of several options available to you for your mid-sized projects. And while there are many aeration systems on the market to choose from, you’ll find our system offers a unique custom approach that you won’t find anywhere else.

Our aeration system uses your choice of a power take-off (PTO) or a diesel hydraulic power unit to power a wheel pump or submersible pump. You’ll back this pump into place or suspend it over the specified location, where it feeds the riffle box and completes the aeration process. For your convenience, this system is available in two different sizes, one of which processes more than 50,000 gallons per hour and another which handles more than 150,000. Decide which size makes more sense for your situation and move forward from there.

pond aeration system graphic

Aeration systems are particularly effective in septic conditions responsible for unpleasant smells and wildlife death caused by chemicals, vegetative activity or ice. You can also use it for process enhancement in situations where higher levels of dissolved oxygen show proven production gains.

2. Submersible Pumps

As the name suggests, submersible pumps are designed to be immersed in water, where they work to drain out sludge or other solids from the water. While our submersible pumps are certainly more than capable of working in your lake or pond, there are plenty more applications for them. You can also use these handy tools to pump rice farms, waste lagoonsmines, gravel pits, cranberry farms and other agricultural and municipal settings. While many submersible pumps you’ll find on the market today are electric, these pumps are typically designed for different applications. For the purposes of sludge and muck removal, most pumps aren’t electric. Instead, submersible pumps for this application are powered by alternate sources such as PTO-drives. All pumps manufactured by GeoForm International are powered by sources other than electric, such as PTO drive or diesel engines.

What exactly is the difference between PTO and electric pumps? Electric submersible pumps need an electric motor to run, meaning they must connect to an electrical power source. PTO pumps, on the other hand, work by transferring mechanical power to the pump from a remote engine, such as the ones you’ll find in trucks or tractors.

3. Portable Dredges

Finally, another option for your mid-sized sludge removal job is a portable dredge. These work in much the same way as the Dino8 we looked at earlier, but on a smaller scale. This smaller and more portable dredge is known as the Dino6 and is an ideal choice for your mid-sized projects.

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The Dino6 Dredge, known in full as the Dino6 Sediment Removal system, is unique for its extreme portability. Unlike other dredges, which are too big and heavy to move easily, the Dino6 weighs just 3,800 pounds. This small size makes it more portable and better able to access smaller spaces where a large dredge would struggle to fit. The Dino6 is the perfect choice for sludge removal in spaces like sediment lagoons, marinas, golf course ponds, home association lakes and retainer ponds.

In addition to this small size, convenience and portability, the Dino6 is also easy to operate. The controls are simple, intuitive and no-fuss so you don’t need to waste time being confused by operational concerns. It’s also highly durable, often outlasting and outperforming much bigger and bulkier machines that don’t offer the compact toughness of this portable dredge.

One of the major benefits of this small and portable dredge is that it’s cost-effective. Rather than spending a significant portion of your project budget to mobilize, set up and then demobilize a large dredge, you can easily transport the Dino6 at a fraction of the hassle and cost.

What Should You Use for Small Sludge Removal Jobs?

For the very largest jobs, you’ll need to use heavy-duty equipment. There aren’t many ways of getting around this fact. Even for the mid-sized jobs, you’ll still need fairly hefty equipment, although they don’t often need to be quite so extreme. For small tasks, however, the solutions become much more diverse. Rather than relying on heavy machinery, there are several more creative solutions to choose from.

1. Mud and Muck Shovel

If you’re working with a small backyard pond or a small body of water, there’s no need to drag out a large submersible pump, which will be an absurdly heavy-duty solution for a very small-scale project. Instead, why not turn to a less technical solution? With a mud and muck shovel, that’s precisely what you’ll get. 

mud and muck shovel graphic

Mud and muck shovels are specifically designed to facilitate the removal of sediment from a body of water in a simple and non-technical way. These tools look like an ordinary shovel, but with a perforated design featuring dozens of small holes punched through the shovel’s bowl. These holes are small enough that they allow water and air to pass through, leaving nothing but the sediment behind in the shovel and allowing the user to scoop the shovel through the sediment without having to deal with the suction that would ordinarily be created by the mud.

These shovels will not be practical for anything but a very small-scale job, but for these projects, they’re the perfect solution. When pumps, dredges and heavy machinery are too big for the small body of water where you’re working, sometimes the best answer is one that may seem a bit old-fashioned on the surface. The innovative design of these shovels is far from old-fashioned, however, and provides just the solution you need for your small muck-removal job.

2. Bacteria and Enzymes

The second small-scale muck removal project solution may initially seem equally old-fashioned. You’ll find, however, that these simple solutions are more practical for small settings where heavy machinery would be more of a bother than a help and would obstruct the scene more than it would be of assistance. This second solution is to use pond bacteria and enzymes.

These enzymes come in the form of pellets, which you can purchase from relevant retailers. Using them is extremely easy. All you need to do is open the container and deposit the pellets into the water you’re hoping to clean. These pellets will sink into the water, releasing indigenous bacteria and bio-stimulants that immediately work to begin cutting through the muck and buildup. Through the use of bacteria that stimulates healthy local growth and enzymes that eat away at the muck, these pellets are the perfect natural solution to end pond sludge.

Perhaps best of all, bacteria and enzyme pellets are entirely safe and natural. They’re 100% biodegradable, all-natural and incredibly high-performing, doing their work without endangering the native plant or animal life around your pond. They’re also designed as a slow-release capsule, meaning they’ll work slowly over an extended period instead of releasing all at once and only destroying half the sludge.

With these eco-friendly pellets being such a hands-off solution, it’s easy to wonder why you shouldn’t use them for every project. Unfortunately, these pellets are only effective in small areas. For large or mid-sized projects, the number of pellets you would need to use would be impractical and likely not extremely useful. For these other projects, you’ll have far greater luck using a pump or dredge.

Contact GeoForm International to Learn More

Are you tired of staring at your sludge-covered lake, marina or pond? Are you looking to boost your curb appeal and property value through clean and clear water? The first step is to clear away all the muck and sludge preventing your pond from being its most beautiful self. Here at GeoForm International, we want to help you with this crucial step.

With over 20 years of experience in the business, we’ve had the time to perfect our high-quality designs, resulting in our top-selling dredges and pumps. And we’re not content to just sell products and then walk away, either. We’re also proud to offer excellent customer support and product services, where we make answering your questions and concerns a priority.

With our experience serving a broad swath of industries, including but not limited to agriculture, industrial manufacturing, excavating, wastewater management and community water systems, we feel confident that we have the knowledge and expertise to help guide you through your project. We’ll point you towards the correct solution and provide you with the information you need to set your operation in motion.

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Are you ready to get started clearing the sludge away from your pond? There’s no better time to get started than the present. Contact GeoForm International today to learn more about how we can help you.

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