What is dewatering?

Dewatering is the process of draining a wet or saturated area of land through one of several methods. Some popular methods of dewatering include use of pumps, centrifuges, wells, or filtering systems. This process can be important for construction tasks like excavating, clearing a riverbed, or creating a reservoir.

Once the water is removed from an area, excavation can be performed more easily on the dry material. Wet material is often too unstable and or heavy for construction processes, and as a result, dewatering is a crucial process in preparation for a job. Some examples of construction jobs that require dewatering are installing utility lines, creating or using mines, lake excavations, and sewage or water runoff system creation.

Most of the time, tasks like this require permits for dewatering because of the effects the process can have on surrounding land and property that belongs to other entities. Depending on the amount of water and land being handled, a permit can be more difficult to obtain. If dewatering would have a large impact on the use of the land or surrounding land, a permit may even be denied.

When new neighborhoods are built, it is important to consider water runoff and to have designated areas for stormwater. By altering the natural water table, construction companies must be careful to avoid building houses on unsettled land or land that may be eroded by water below the surface. Dewatering can also be an expensive process due to the heavy machinery needed for transporting large quantities of water and soil.