A US Army Corps of Engineers unit dredging a lake near the Detroit River in Michigan has used a new floating dredge to fill a reservoir and dump an estimated 2.3 billion cubic feet of contaminated wastewater into the lake.
US News and World Report describes the dredge as the largest in the world.
The project is part of a larger US Army effort to restore Lake Erie’s natural resources.
US President Donald Trump ordered the dredging of the lake earlier this year after the Great Lake Erie Flood.
A study by the Army Corps found the reservoir had about 1.3 million cubic feet (19.5 million liters) of contaminated water and was about 2.5 feet (1.5 meters) deep.
The dredge floats are being installed in the Detroit-Windsor Canal to aid in the recovery of the Great River, the main source of drinking water for the city.
A video posted on YouTube on March 26, 2017 shows a truck carrying the floating dredges on a conveyor belt.
US Army’s new floating dredge pipe can fill up to 6.3 miles (11.5 kilometers) deep, and the Army said in a statement that the project would “provide an effective and cost-effective alternative to the existing method of transporting contaminated water through a pipeline.”
A large piece of the pipeline has already been removed and a second portion is being installed, but it is unclear how long it will take to complete the process.
US military contractors are using floating dredgers to bring in sediment, sedimentary rock, and other material from the Great Falls Dam, the largest of the Lake Erie lakes, into a large, concrete dump truck that is towed behind a truck that drives across the lake to the lake’s mouth.
The process uses hydraulic pumps to pull sediment and rock into a specially designed tube.
The dike floats can hold up to 2.9 million cubic yards (21.5 cubic meters) of water, according to a government estimate.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered the construction of the project after the dam was flooded in the late 1980s.
The dam is located about three miles (5 kilometers).
The Army said the dredges are “necessary to safely and safely manage sedimentary and sedimentary-rock runoff.”
A portion of the site of the dam is now under construction and is expected to be completed in 2021.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a $1.8 billion effort to re-route and redirect the Great Rivers and Lake Erie through the United States.