Many construction sites have to worry about surface and groundwater, which can be hazardous for workers and damaging to equipment. Removing the water from your job site is often necessary, which can be done through dewatering. This process is typically one of the first steps in preparing a construction site for work.
You can use many different dewatering methods to remove water from a specific location, including sump pumps, wellpoints, eductor wells and deep wells. The method you choose will depend on various factors and the type of water you need to remove. Learn more about the dewatering process, the four different methods, the benefits and the equipment you may need to complete the process.
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Dewatering involves removing groundwater or surface water from construction sites and relocating it to a tank, pond or another location, depending on local regulations. Dewatering is often essential so construction work can start. There are various techniques for dewatering construction sites, but the process typically involves pumping and evaporation.
Dewatering is sometimes essential for projects, especially if the construction site is in a place that is prone to flooding, is home to a body of water or holds stormwater after rain. Dewatering or removing water from a construction site prevents soil from turning into slippery mud, allows for erosion control, enhances stabilization and reduces project delays. This process helps:
Any construction site prone to water collection should go through the dewatering process to help keep workers safe and projects on schedule.
Four primary construction dewatering methods help improve the efficiency and safety of work sites. Different approaches work better for specific soil and excavation types, so understanding their differences is essential to knowing which method will work best for your construction project.
Sump pumps are a cost-effective and simple method for removing water from a construction site. This method uses sumps, or pits, dug to a specified draining area where water is collected. Then solid-handling pumps move the water from the pit to a discharge pump.
Sump pumps are ideal for construction sites with minimal surface water, shallow excavations and low-permeable soils. However, sump pumps can sometimes increase the risk of collapse or erosion. They can also produce more water when working with high-suspended solids.
Wellpoint systems use small individualized wellpoints placed around different parts of an excavation that connect to a centrifugal header pipe equipped with a vacuum. Wellpoint systems are ideal for low groundwater levels to create a dry and stable site for construction projects.
Like sump pumps, wellpoints work best on construction sites with low-permeable, fine-grained soil and shallow excavations. However, they can also be used with high-permeable soils. Wellpoints are easy to install and cost-effective, making them viable for many construction projects.
Deep well systems use drilled wells that all have submersible pumps. These systems help lower groundwater. Deep wells use gravity-based methods and are broader and deeper than wellpoints. This dewatering system typically removes water from previous structures underneath the existing excavation.
Deep well systems are ideal for work sites with large amounts of water. This method works well with multiple excavation depths and high-permeable soil. However, deep wells are an extensive system and aren't as cost-effective as other options.
Eductor wells use a pumping station comprised of small wells. These wells use nozzles to make a vacuum, which helps draw groundwater through a valve and piping system.
Once installed, eductor wells are low maintenance and cost-effective. These wells can also reach significant depths compared to sump pumps and wellpoints. Suction lifts don't limit educator wells, so this method is ideal for deep excavations. You can use this method when vacuuming or closed well-spacing is necessary or working with low-permeable soil. However, this method isn't practical when working with high water volumes.
Different factors will influence the best dewatering method for your construction site. Some of the most critical factors to consider are budget, soil, excavation depth and water volume.
Cost can sometimes affect what dewatering method you choose. Some methods are more cost-effective than others, such as sump pumping or wellpoints. These methods can work for many construction projects but may not be suitable for all. If your project requires deep well dewatering, one of the more expensive methods, it's better to use this method than a more affordable approach that won't adequately dewater your job site.
Soil type plays a significant role in what kind of dewatering method you choose. Soil permeability, or how water flows through the soil, is one of the most important factors when deciding which dewatering method to use at your construction site. Eductor wells or sump pumping only work well with low-permeable soils. Other methods, such as wellpoints, work well for high or low permeability.
The depth of your excavation helps determine your dewatering method. If you have deep excavations, eductor wells or deep wells would be best. Shallow or small excavations are better suited to sump pumps or wellpoints. However, eductor wells aren't suited to deep excavations with high water levels.
The water volume, or how much water is present, and whether it's groundwater or surface water affect which dewatering method you can choose. Eductor and sump pumps work best when there's not a lot of water to remove from the construction site. Wellpoints work when shallow aquifers reach only 50 feet or less. Deep wells are the only method that can handle high volumes of water.
You may need a dewatering permit, especially when the water is discharged into a public drain and isn't treated before being moved to local water sources. The permit requirements vary based on the rules and regulations in your area or jurisdiction. Most permits require you to provide drawings and engineering to show how the water is treated.
These plans help construction teams and engineers understand the conditions at the site and determine the best method for capturing water. Your local officials need to approve your plans before you can get a permit. You may need multiple plans, and all options must be approved.
If you cannot distribute the water you've collected onsite, you'll have to divert the water to sanitary or stormwater sewer lines. In these instances, more testing and filtering are necessary before releasing water into public water sources. All contractors are responsible for redistributing and treating removed water correctly, and inspectors will check the water quality.
Once you've removed water from your job site, it has to go somewhere. You can do a few different things with the water once it's been displaced from your construction site, depending on your budget, project site specifications, water turbidity and state or federal laws. Water removal options include the following:
Dewatering construction sites has many benefits for construction companies, including the following:
Renting equipment has many benefits over buying new or used. Some of the benefits of renting equipment include the following:
If you're looking for equipment for dewatering at a construction site, The Cat® Rental Store has several options. We offer two main types of equipment for dewatering processes — pumping and water equipment.
Pumping equipment removes water from your work site and helps move it to another location, improving the safety of your workspace and keeping projects on schedule. The Cat Rental Store offers a wide range of pumping equipment, including the following:
Renting a pump from us allows you to access a wide range of pumping equipment that you can trust is well-maintained and can serve your project needs. We can deliver your chosen pump to your work site, even with short notice, helping you quickly move on with your project.
The Cat Rental Store also offers water equipment to help you move water from your job site to another location after it's been pumped. We offer two primary types of water equipment, including the following:
Whether you need pumps for dewatering your construction site or water equipment to transport water from your project site, The Cat Rental Store has everything you need. Our team can help you find the equipment that enables you to complete projects more efficiently and deliver it directly to your job site to help you get started as soon as possible. You can browse our wide range of equipment or speak to a representative to find what you need for your projects.
If you need dewatering equipment to improve the safety and efficiency of your work site, The Cat Rental Store can help. We have a wide range of dewatering equipment, from various types of pumps to water transportation trailers and trucks. When you rent from us, you won't have to worry about maintenance, repairs or general upkeep. We also offer flexible rental terms to ensure you have your equipment only as long as needed, helping you save on overall costs.
You'll also have onsite support and technical assistance to help you through every step of the rental process. Browse our selection of equipment today, contact us for a quote or find a dealer near you to speak to a representative in person or to look at the equipment before you rent.Find The Cat Rental Store Near You