New techniques for dredging the Parrett are being tested this November and December, as Somerset Rivers Authority seeks cheaper and better ways of maintaining tidal rivers.
Three weeks of trials are being carried out between Westonzoyland Pumping Station and Burrowbridge to see how effective water injection dredging and agitation dredging can be at getting silt moving down to Bridgwater Bay and preserving the River Parrett’s capacity.
Cllr John Osman, SRA chairman, said: “This is the first time that such trials have been done on the Parrett in conjunction with a long-term program of detailed monitoring. Potentially, new methods offer Somerset big benefits: done at the right times, in the right places, they could be much cheaper, more effective, and better for the environment, local residents and farmers.”
The trials are being delivered for the SRA by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board with contractors Van Oord.
The vessel being used for the Parrett project is water injection dredger Borr. After being delivered to Dunball Wharf in halves, then re-assembled, Borr motored upstream through Bridgwater on Saturday night, 12 November.
Three weeks of trials started on Monday, 14 November.