Potter ready for another dredging season

The Dredge Potter, built in 1932, left the St. Louis service base dock last week headed to Grafton, Illinois to begin its dredging season.

Photo courtesy of Janet Meredith/USACE

A crew of 53 highly-skilled employees from USACE St. Louis District staff the dustpan dredge that is capable of filling an Olympic sized swimming pool every hour.

USACE uses Dredge Potter to ensure safe navigation for commercial vessels on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. In 2023, drought conditions required the crew to move 6.3 million cubic yards of sand, silt, and clay from the river bottom at 31 different locations.

Over the past winter, the staff and crew completed routine maintenance and repairs at the Corps’ service base to prepare for this year’s dredging season.

Skilled tradesmen completed in-house repairs to critical components in the material pumping process. This included rebuilding the pump room gear box, pedestal bearing and head hoist block for lifting the dustpan.

Additionally, a quick release system was installed on the dredge disposal pipeline to make it safer for the crew to move material for disposal. Sleeping quarters and bathroom areas were updated as well, since last year’s dredging season.