Over 7,000 tonnes of silt have been dredged from the Shropshire Union Canal near Chester to make the canal easier to navigate for boaters.
The dredging has taken place on a four mile section of the canal between Salmons Bridge and Hoole Lane Lock with a 6.7m wide, 1.35 metre deep channel being created in the canal. Work began in mid-November and is due to be completed by the third week in January, helping to keep the channel clear for the next 15 – 20 years.
The Canal & River Trust cares for 2,000 miles of canal across the country and dredging is a vital part of its work to keep the waterways clear for the thousands of boats which visit each year. Dredging also has a positive impact on the water quality and the flora and fauna which are so popular with people visiting the waterways.
Project Manager Mark Weatherall said: “Dredging the canal system is part of our routine maintenance programme to ensure that the waterways are kept in good working order for the many boats that use them every day.
“Wherever possible we seek to make good use of the material we dredge, for example as protection for the canal banks, or, as in this case, silt to spread on farmland at nearby Christleton, saving 413 lorry journeys and over £200,000 in landfill and transport costs.”
Dredging involves digging out the sediment from the bottom of the waterways and removing it. Specialised plant & equipment is used to dredge, transport and unload the dredged material from the canal channel.