What is Dewatering?

Dewatering may not be something you’ve heard of, but it is an important process done on most construction projects. Dewatering is removing groundwater and surface water from a construction site; it can also be removing water from soil by wet classification. Usually the dewatering process is done by pumping or through evaporation. Dewatering is generally done prior to excavation for footings or it can be used to lower a water table that might be causing troubles during excavation and foundation work.

Construction dewatering happens on nearly all construction sites owing to amassed water in trenches and excavations or in places with insufficient slopes or high-water tables. In construction projects, this water should be removed to keep working as planned or to offer a safe workplace. Generally, builders are likely to use water pumps to dewater these regions, but if they are not paying attention to the place where water is discharged, erosion and other problems may happen. It is vital to follow best management practices when water is being pumped to lakes, wetlands or directly to storm sewer inlets.

Dewatering activities must be done right to steer clear of eroding the soil on the construction site. It is also essential to select the best location for discharge, even when you might be far away from water bodies or catch basins. There are numerous dewatering products that can be used to get rid of sediment from the pumped water, such as dewatering bags. Construction dewatering from open excavation or trenches can be done by numerous methods. Nevertheless, the simplest of all is gravity drain using drainage channels carrying away water from the region to be worked to the discharge point. Further practical ways for dewatering are water pumping, siphoning and/or using large construction machinery buckets to scoop and dump water from the chosen region.

Dewatering is an important consideration for construction managers, especially during the excavation and foundation stage. Uncontrolled groundwater can flood excavated areas, damaging construction materials and equipment. Water can also cause trench collapses and flooding, threatening the construction workers in the area. Selecting an adequate dewatering method based on soil conditions and the water table is an important step before groundwork.