Prepare for Dewatering constructions sites and fields During the Spring Melt

Dewatering can be necessary at almost any time of the year but is particularly prevalent in the spring. The combination of snow & ice melting along with spring rains can leave construction sites and agricultural fields saturated or even completely covered with standing water. Below we share some tips on how best to handle dewatering in the spring.

 

Preparation: Before you start pumping water

As tempting as it may be to connect a hose to the pump and just start pumping away water, there are preparations and precautions you should take to be more effective and safe.

 

Water access and discharge location 

The water to be removed needs to have a stable access point that is safe to transverse. This may require the ground to be prepped or access ramps built. 

 

It is important to plan the discharge location carefully. Flowing water from the discharge hose can cause erosion, destabilizing the area. Plan the discharge area and subsequent water flow carefully. 

 

It can be helpful to discharge the water onto a series of wood planks or other solid surfaces to minimize erosion at the discharge point. If possible, the flow of water should follow a path that has grass/vegetation to hold the soil more firmly as the water flows. Discharge, if permitted, into a wooded area where water can be absorbed more easily is advantageous. You should not simply discharge water, unguided, down a slope.

 

Be aware of the impact on your surroundings. Water discharge can cause erosion or flooding on surrounding properties. Local and state regulations may prohibit discharge into nearby storm sewers or bodies of water. You will be liable for damage to others’ property or illegal discharge points. Before you start pumping water, be aware and responsible for where it goes.

 

Content of Water to be Removed

Standing water in construction, commercial, and agricultural areas will have contents that cannot simply be pumped elsewhere. Prior to dewatering any area, understand the contents of the water and take appropriate steps to mitigate possible damage. 

 

Chemical or Hazardous Materials

Water from construction sites, agricultural, or other commercial locations may contain chemicals, pesticides, petroleum, or other hazardous components. If the flooded area contains these or other contaminants, the water should be treated/separated prior to discharge. Contaminated water should never be discharged without proper treatment. 

 

Solids

Depending on your pump, some trash pumps can handle large solids. However, these items may not be appropriate for the area where you discharging the water. You can use intake filters or discharge bags to contain the objects, even as small as silt, and properly deal with them.

 

Regulatory Considerations

Whatever the contents of the water, you are responsible for abiding by local, state, and federal EPA regulations. Ensure you understand and adhere to what is required, including proper permitting.

 

Pumping Equipment for Dewater

While using a dewatering pump may seem straightforward, there are important considerations that will affect the pump, filters, hoses, and other equipment. 

 

If you are not familiar with selecting and configuring a dewatering system, call us. You will need to have an approximation for how high up the water has to travel, how far the discharge is, the likely solids, power sources available, and even the approximate altitude at which the pump will operate. These variables impact pump selection and operational efficiency. 

 

Failure to select the proper equipment will result in a shorter lifespan for the pump, higher operating costs, and the possibility that the system won’t do what you want it to.

 

Special considerations for dewatering agricultural areas

standing water in farm fieldIt is not uncommon for people to use the term “flood” whenever they discuss areas where there is water that should not be there. But, for agriculture, “flood” has an important meaning that distinguishes it from “standing” water. 

 

The US FDA calls out “flooding” or “flood” as water that flowed to or through the “flooded” location. The importance is in the possibility that contaminants were carried by the floodwaters into agricultural land from other, non-food-producing areas. 

 

Standing water that is the result of thaw, or simply excessive local rain, does not pose a risk of drawing contamination from other areas. 

 

If agricultural land is truly flooded, it is not acceptable to simply dewater the area and begin using the land again for farming. The soil must be properly tested to ensure no contamination occurred. If there is contamination, proper mitigation action must be taken before food production can start. 

 

Contact Pumpbiz with Dewatering Pump Questions

We work with our customers to ensure the equipment they use is right for the job. If, at any point, you are unsure what dewatering equipment and system configuration is best for your job, please contact us. We want to be sure you are happy with the equipment and successful with your job.