When you are working on a building site, you quickly come to understand the value of dewatering. Building work generally involves digging into the ground, and unless the surface water is removed before excavation takes place, all of your work will soon turn into a soggy mess as you attempt to dig out footings with water gathering in every hole you dig.

Why is dewatering needed?

Removing surface water and groundwater is required on almost every construction site before building work can begin. Evaporation or dewatering pumps will be employed to lower the water table so that the footings can go in. Without dewatering, water would gather in trenches or anywhere with an insufficient slope, and building would become dangerous or impossible. Where dewatering pumps are used, the water is frequently pumped into storm sewers, wetlands or lakes. A dewatering pump differs from a conventional pump in that while a normal pump simply moves water from one location to another, dewatering pumps are able to extract water from sludge, soil or another material.

Choosing your dewatering system

There are a variety of dewatering techniques available, and the choice of equipment will depend on the complexity of the job you are undertaking, the rate at which the liquid must be transferred and the type of liquid being moved. The simplest technique is to create drainage channels in the ground to carry away the surface water to another location. Scooping out standing water with large buckets can be successful if only a small amount of water is involved, but pumping is perhaps the most widely used solution.

One popular pumping method is the wellpoint dewatering system. This technique involves the creation of a series of shallow wells being created around the construction site. These wells have a riser pipe connecting them to the surface via a flexbow that's connected to a dewatering pump through a common header pipe. This method of dewatering is commonly used to produce a stable working environment and can be used in soil conditions ranging from gravel to silty sands. Your engineering team will be able to assess whether this is an appropriate solution for your environmental conditions.

By carefully examining the prevailing conditions on your site, your engineering team will be able to identify exactly how much water needs to be removed and where that water will need to go. Finding the right place to deposit all of the water is critical to avoiding an environmental disaster through soil erosion or flooding.