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Clarification Test-139

What Is Treatability: An Important Asset in Environmental Dredging

Posted by Amber Wilson on February 29, 2024

Treatability testing uses bench-scale demonstrations and analysis to determine if a material can be effectively treated with a specific chemical or process. At Brennan, we use treatability testing to develop sound technical approaches for dredged material dewatering, in situ or dewatered dredged material stabilization, and water treatment. 

Treatability data can be used to price a job more accurately and find cost savings for our clients. Treatability testing allows us to select chemical and mechanical processes for treatment and evaluate less costly alternatives. Here's how we do it.

How To Perform Treatability Tests With Success

Brennan’s Michigan Office is the home of our treatability lab, where our chemists perform tests, preparing samples to mimic what will be seen in a full-scale operation. Prepared samples are dosed with chemicals and run through processes. Our treatability lab conducts basic solids, pH, soil strength, sieve, and turbidity analyses, along with wet chemistry and soil testing off-site. However, the most valuable tests are scaled-down versions of dewatering and water treatment processes.

No doubt, treatability testing significantly impacts the full-scale implementation of dewatering and water treatment processes for projects. It enables our team to actively participate in design discussions, think outside the box, and develop truly tailored solutions to issues that may have otherwise stood in the way of the project moving forward.

Clean - Treatability Testing Media Columns Close Up WebOur treatability laboratory applies water testing techniques and chemicals to evaluate their effectiveness in removing contaminants like PCBs.

Treatability Testing Overcomes Challenges in Environmental Dredging

A challenge we face in recommending solutions for environmental dredging projects is the inability to know how the dredged material or contact water will behave before performing work. We can collect in-situ samples from discrete locations. Still, it will not be the same as what is pumped by a hydraulic dredge, scooped up in a mechanical dredge bucket, or drained from sediments throughout a full-scale project encompassing thousands of cubic yards of material, hundreds of acres or millions of gallons of water. 

Treatability testing allows us the opportunity to collect in-situ samples and develop them to represent what we might see in real-world dredging more accurately. From there, we can perform a series of tests to help us select the best chemicals and processes for the particular material and its characteristics, including its contaminants.

2023 Milwaukee Water Treatment - Sampling-107Our water treatment operators closely monitor onsite operations to ensure water meets limits for safe discharge.

Treatability Testing Success Story:

Before a remediation project, we performed treatability tests and demonstrated our proposed water treatment processes, performing analytics before and after each treatment step. Our results showed that we could remove mercury to a very low level (below the discharge limit of 1.3 ng/L or parts per trillion) by using a chemical addition and settling process versus an ion exchange process.

Because of these tests, we recommended a dewatering solution that avoided extra media costs, additional tanks, and the mobilization and demobilization that would have been involved. By performing treatability tests and analyzing the data at every step, we determined the proper chemical treatment process for results below the discharge limit before going onsite, saving time, manpower, and budget. 

Water Treatment Plant Simulation-105Media testing columns are used in our treatability laboratory to assess the efficacy of various media types to remove contaminants from impacted water, alone or in series.

Treatability: An Important Asset in Environmental Dredging Projects

Treatability testing is a pivotal and multifaceted asset in environmental projects, playing a vital role in Brennan's capability to assess the feasibility of treating materials through precise chemicals or processes.

At its core, treatability testing empowers us to fine-tune project estimates and demonstrate a profound understanding of the intricate dynamics involved in environmental solutions. The ability to determine the most effective chemical treatments or processes underscores the company's commitment to efficiency, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.

For more details on Brennan’s water treatment, dredging, remediation, and restoration capabilities, please visit our Environmental Services page and connect with our team.



About J.F. Brennan Company
J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan) is a fourth-generation, family-owned marine construction firm specializing in environmental remediationdam constructioncommercial diveharbor management, and submarine cable services. Working closely with public and private owners of water-based infrastructure since 1919, Brennan operates nationwide throughout coastal and inland waterways.

Topics: Marine Construction, Hydraulic Dredging, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Dredging, Dredging, Employee Engagement, Environmental Remediation, careers, Dewatering, geotextile tubes, Water Management, habitat restoration, Treatability, Water Treatment

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