Language selection


What is hydraulic dredging?

Release date: March 2023
Infographic: What is hydraulic dredging?
Description: Whitby Harbour remediation project

What is hydraulic dredging?

Hydraulic dredging uses suction to remove sediment (in the form of a slurry), which is then pumped through a temporary pipeline to a location on land where it can be de-watered prior to disposal.

What are the steps in hydraulic dredging?

  • An auger dredger will be operated from a pontoon. It uses a rotating auger (sometimes equipped with cutting teeth) to dislodge the sediments.
  • A pump is used to suck up the slurry (mix of dislodged sediments and water) through the auger.
  • The slurry is transported from the auger through a floating pipeline to a land-based de-watering area.
  • The slurry gets spread across the designated de-watering area for the water to drain.
  • The de-watered sediment gets trucked away to a licensed disposal facility.
  • The water that drains from the slurry is tested to confirm that it meets water quality criteria to determine whether additional processing is needed before the water is released back into the harbour.

While hydraulic dredging has the potential to disturb aquatic wildlife that live at and use the site, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to minimizing impacts through the implementation of strict mitigation measures and water quality monitoring processes.

We encourage members of the public to submit questions and comments to the Project Team by email, phone, or mail.

Please contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

Phone: 1-833-551-2702
Mail : Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Whitby Harbour Project
520 Exmouth Street, Sarnia, ON, N7T 8B1

Date modified: