Managing Dredge Waste in Navigation Channels


Dr. T. Thuy Minh Nguyen, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Mien Jao, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Qin Qian, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


This project evaluated the possibility of stabilization of dredged spoils (DS) in the placement areas along the Sabine-Neches Waterway (SNW) channel. The stabilized dredge spoils may be reutilized as construction material for roadway construction, embankment/dike for flood prevention, and compressed blocks for new buildings, walls, or other purposed.



Dredge waste management is usually a burden to port and waterways facilities and has the potential to restrict expansion capabilities and limit growth. A typical example of dredge waste to be managed is that of the Sabine-Neches Waterway (SNW) channel which results from the constant need for channel maintenance. Throughout the country many placement areas are over stretched making the management of dredged material a significant problem. The reuse of dredged soil is limited and has been the object of some investigation, none resulting in a cost-effective solution. Because of the chemical composition of dredge and the strong presence of commercial industries in the SNW, concerns exist about the potential for toxic compounds being concentrated and later released from dredge soil into water systems. We have initiated preliminary investigations of the toxicity of the dredge waste and propose a novel method for its reuse. This project has two main objectives:

1) using a combination of bioenzymes, evaluate the potential for reused dredge waste as a road construction material to decrease the need for placement areas; and

2) To model the management of the dredge reuse including its benefit cost ratio.


Funded by Center for Advances in Port Management, Lamar University