Water Injection Dredging Demonstration at Tuttle Creek Lake

The Kansas Water Office, in partnership with the Corps of Engineers, has just announced their plans to implement a Water Injection Dredging (WID) demonstration project at Tuttle Creek Lake to promote sustainable long-term reservoir sediment management.

Image source: Kansas Water Office

WID is a process in which large volumes of water are injected at low pressure into the sediment bed near the bottom of the reservoir through the use of pumps and a series of nozzles located on a horizontal pipe positioned above the sediment bed.

The injected water effectively fluidizes the sediment creating a ‘ density current’ that allows the sediment to flow by gravity to deeper areas.

In the case of Tuttle Creek Lake, the proposed WID demonstration project would be aimed at moving the sediment toward the existing low level outlet in the dam and monitoring the flow of the density current through the outlet during controlled discharges.

Sediment fluidization testing performed by the Corps’ of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center with sediment from Tuttle Creek Lake demonstrates the mechanics of the water injection dredging process.