SedNet conference 2021

De Kleirijperij 1 - Clay Ripening Pilot

Jul 1, 2021 | 1:00 PM - 1:03 PM

Excessive levels of sediment in the Eems-Dollard area are having a negative impact on water quality and biodiversity. Large amounts of sediment accumulate in ports, making regular dredging necessary. On the other hand, clay soil is needed in the area to strengthen dikes and to raise farmland. Collecting sediment from the Eems Dollard and converting it into clay soil creates a win-win situation: the water quality improves and there is more clay soil for reinforcing dikes and raising farmland. There are plans for more dike upgrade operations in the future on the Eems-Dollard coast, and clay soil will be needed there, too. Pilot Rijkswaterstaat, the provincial authority of Groningen, Groningen Seaports, the Hunze and Aa’s water authority, nature conservation organisation Het Groninger Landschap and EcoShape have teamed up in the Clay Ripening pilot project to look at different ways of transforming sediment into clay soil. EcoShape researchers are engaged in practical experiments to see which approach to ripening works best. Approach In 2018 we filled the first sediment depot with dredged material from the Havenkanaal, the canal leading to the port of Delfzijl. A second depot will be filled in 2019, with sediment from the Breebaart polder near Termunten. The sediment is transformed into clay soil in the clay ripening site by means of processes such as dewatering, desalination and oxidation. The site includes several sections that allow us to test different ripening approaches. It is expected that the clay soil will have ripened enough by 2021, at which time it will be suitable for application.