In 1995, IMS developed the Weedmaster Cutterhead for a lake project in Florida. The idea was to convert the dredge system into a high production vegetation harvesting system that could pump shredded vegetation to the same discharge area as the silt and sand dredged from the bottom of the lake.
Today the IMS Model 5012 LP Versi-Dredge is the only dredge system in the world proven to be able to dredge sand and silt and be converted into a high production weed cutting and pumping system.
The IMS dredge cutterhead is easily removed with standard hand tools, the impeller is changed to a recessed open face impeller, and then the Weedmaster cutterhead is installed. This completes the steps necessary to convert the IMS Model 5012 LP into a dual purpose dredger / weed harvester. The IMS proprietary LP (low pressure) pumping system has a 152mm (6″) spherical solids passage capability which allows it to pass massive amounts of stringy vegetation and plant root masses through the pump with minimal clogging. Other pump systems clog up almost instantaneously.
“My company recently completed a project cutting and pumping dense typha on a lake in Arizona. We originally tried other methods to remove the typha, but were only successful once we brought the Versi-Drege with the Razor Tooth Weedmaster to the site. Based on previous experience at a US Air Force base back in the 1990′s, I knew that this would be the correct solution. In our experience, no other dredge system is able to cut and pump vegetation to a remote discharge area other than the Versi-Dredge equipped with the Weedmaster Cutterhead,” said Eric Anderson, President of Golden Enviro LLC.
It is very common for contractors and government agencies to require a dredge and a separate weed harvester to complete a waterway restoration project. The problem is that conveyor type harvesters have limited storage on-board and the harvesting process must stop to unload on shore. Then excavators must be used to remove the vegetation to a proper disposal area that will not attract vermin like rodents and poisonous snakes. The 5012 LP Versi-Dredge with Weedmaster simply eliminates the unnecessary barges, unloading equipment, and an extra excavator associated with conveyor-type harvester operations. In addition, it greatly reduces diesel fuel and labor costs thus reducing overall project costs.
In late 2011 an IMS Model 5012 LP Versi-Dredge was deployed at a dam in South America. IMS was awarded the global tender to supply the IMS Model 5012 LP Versi-Dredge with Weedmaster Cutterhead. The Weedmaster shredded and pumped dense 0.6m (2′) water hyacinths a distance of 100m (328′) with a rise of approximately 9.1m (30). The hyacinths infestation problem was so advanced that the water was invisible. The root masses were very mature and in most cases were 0.6m (2′) long under water. The 5012 LP with Weedmaster has had extremely positive results and the buyer is completely satisfied with the progress of the project. The lake is becoming more visible and the 5012 LP is controlling the hyacinths. IMS has announced that it has just received a second 5012 LP Versi-Dredge with Weedmaster order from a government entity in South America who is deepening a lake and removing totora (Schoenoplectus californicus).
IMS continues to lead the global dredging industry in manufacturing hydraulic dredging equipment that can pump vegetation as well. The Weedmaster is available in two different configurations based on the applications requirements. The 5012 LP Versi-Dredge is a true dredger / harvester combination unit that produces high volume results for about half the price of other multi-function dredges that require barges and other auxiliary equipment to properly dispose of material.
Dredging Today Staff, May 3, 2012; Images: imsdredge