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Last edited 19 Oct 2020
Dewatering construction sites
Dewatering refers to the removal of groundwater and/or surface water from a site before construction work commences. This may be necessary on sites where there are trenches and excavations in which water can accumulate, in places where there is an inadequate slope for water run-off, or where there is a high water table.
Dewatering techniques typically include pumping and evaporation and may include the use of:
- Vacuum filters.
- Filter presses.
- Drying beds.
- Sludge lagoons.
Care should be taken when pumping to ensure water is being discharged somewhere suitable, otherwise erosion and other problems can occur. Best management practices must be followed when pumping water to lakes, wetlands or directly into storm sewers.
Culvert, screen and outfall manual, (CIRIA C786) published by CIRIA in 2019, defines dewatering as: ‘The process of handling and/or reducing significant flows of water (especially groundwater) into an area where construction work is being undertaken.’
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