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Successful Hydraulic Dredging Relies on Critical Velocity

Posted by Sam Crawford, Project Manager on August 13, 2020

As a leader in inland waterway dredging, J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan) serves as a success story for hydraulically dredging and pumping sediments over long distances and changing elevations. The goal of most dredging projects is to maximize efficiency, which means maximizing the average percent solids in the pipeline. However, there is a fine balance between maximizing percent solids and surpassing critical velocity to transport dredge slurry. Therefore, a dredge operator must understand the importance of critical velocity and how it varies as the material in the dredge cut changes.

Critical velocity, in this case, is the minimum speed at which sediment and water (slurry) must be pumped to prevent the sediment from settling and subsequently plugging the dredge pipeline. Plugging the pipeline is the bane of any dredging operation and one of the few things that will set a dredge operator trembling in their boots. After all, if a pipeline gets plugged, the dredge must shut down, which means the entire project stops.

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River Restoration: Small Dredges Prove Useful in Waterways

Posted by Paul Olander, Senior Project Manager on March 25, 2020

As the sun on the dredging season in the Midwest inland areas began to set, operations were starting to heat up on the east coast for J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan). For a third straight year, Brennan has had the opportunity to procure work in the milder maritime climate throughout New England during the winter months. These months are key for in-water work on the east coast as they provide opportunities to revitalize salt marshes, re-nourish beaches and restore navigation outside of the fish migration and spawning windows. Generally, this work has been undertaken in and near the coastal salt marshes adjacent to the smaller resort communities.

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Brennan Takes Three Hitachi zx470lc-6 Excavators on the Water

Posted by Kimberly Walters on February 25, 2020

When you think “excavator,” images of digging dirt and rock on land may come to mind. However, that’s not the case for J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan), a 100-year-old marine construction contractor out of La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

*adapted with consent from its original format in BREAKOUT Winter 2019: a Hitachi Construction & Mining Productions Publication. 

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Brennan's SHERP ATV Makes A Splash [NEW PHOTOS]

Posted by Ken Peterson, Vice President - Assets Manager on January 16, 2020

This past year, we made another key asset purchase: the SHERP ATV (SHERP). In addition to our Diamondback Airboat, the SHERP solidifies our durability and efficiency working throughout wetland and marshy areas.

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Most-Searched Blog Topics of 2019

Posted by Kimberly Walters on January 07, 2020

Brennan blog posts were viewed 13,622 times in 2019. Reviewing our most-searched blog topics helps us construct a list of the marine industry's most critical topics and those most pertinent to our company. So, what were the most-searched topics?

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Risk, Impact, and Corporate Responsibility: Implementing an Environmental Management Program

Posted by Michael Cannell on December 16, 2019

As a marine solutions company, J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan) faces a unique array of regulations and rules. While every company deals with regulations, most deal with rules that impact operations only on land or only in the water. We are accountable for regulatory requirements in both areas and have been for years. So, what's changed and what are we doing about it? 

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State of the Environmental Industry | June 2019

Posted by Andrew Timmis on June 20, 2019

We’re nearly halfway through 2019, and unless you’ve been in a cave or under a rock, you understand that the environmental market is exploding right now. I have been in the environmental industry for 32 years (wow that’s a long time), and I do not believe I have ever experienced this much activity. The size, scopes, and complexities of our current projects are overwhelming. J.F Brennan Company (Brennan) is extremely fortunate to have a very busy, robust workload this year with some exciting projects underway, and more that are set to begin once fish windows open. Based on our own surplus of work and activity, I wanted to share my observations and discuss the current state of the environmental community from a dredging contractor’s perspective.

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5 Reasons We Customize Our Fleet: Increase ROI with Dredge Sense

Posted by Kimberly Walters on May 13, 2019

Equipment-heavy industries continually push for optimal uptimes. At J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan), we’re committed to investing in our equipment not only during the purchasing process, but also during scheduled off-season maintenance. Internally, we coined the term “Brennanize” to refer to the custom alterations our team executes upon acquiring assets as well as our carefully regimented maintenance.

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7 Cost-Drivers of a Dredging Project

Posted by Dillon Hogan on November 13, 2018

Dredging projects are complex affairs that involve many components and significant planning before execution. The intricacy of these projects means that pricing is often multifaceted. Here are seven common areas that drive overall costs on a dredging project.

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The Basics of Using Polymers on Dredging Projects

Posted by Dillon Hogan on October 16, 2018

Why Add Polymers?

 

One of the biggest challenges on a dredging project is managing the water that is excavated and transported with the sediment. On hydraulic dredging jobs where sediment and water are pumped through a pipeline as a slurry, water can account for 90+ percent of the volumetric flow. After the slurry reaches the disposal area, the water must be separated from the sediment, collected, and often clarified or treated. This process must happen as fast as the water is being pumped, which for a 12-inch cutterhead dredge could be 5,000 gallons per minute.

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