BMT JFA Consultants (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group, the leading international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, is developing a revolutionary design and simulation tool which will help to address the lack of validated methods available for designing land-based dredged material disposal basins and reclamations.
The Design & Simulation Tool for Dredge Settling Ponds & Reclamations will transform the way that engineers and regulators assess tail-water discharge characteristics, pond evolution, and overall capacity, further strengthening BMT’s technical excellence in the areas of dredging, reclamation, and environmental management.
A prototype of the tool has already been developed and successfully applied to aid Albany Port Authority in Western Australia to improve the performance of an existing on-land disposal basin.
Utilising the state-of-the-art TUFLOW software, developed by BMT JFA Consultants’ sister company, BMT WBM, the Design & Simulation Tool will allow designers and proponents to more accurately simulate and optimise the disposal or reclamation process. This will take into account the dredged sediment types, basin geometry, bund walls, overflow weir arrangements, and local winds – all of which are unique to the particular site.
Jared Stewart, Coastal Engineer at BMT JFA Consultants explains: “In our experience, the issue of settlement time and dredge material retention has not been well understood or modelled in the past. Present-day design guidelines fail to provide sufficient detail of the governing processes. This too often leads to a “rule of thumb” type of approach, with designs principally based on previous experience at other sites, which may bear no relation to the proposed site or local conditions.”
“This tool will not only improve the understanding and confidence in the design of basins, but will also allow stakeholders to consider all of the options to ensure the design of basins, including any internal bund configurations, is optimised. This will in turn provide maximum retention of the dredge materials, whilst minimising any potential impacts on the environment through the excessive loss of material from the basin and minimisation of the basin footprint.”
Press Release, July 29, 2014