Dredge Report, June 14, 2011

Wednesday, June 14

At 8:00am, Timmy picked Karen up from public dock. We stopped briefly at the headquarters to unloaded Karen’s stuff and to pack ice-chests and gear for work-site. We loaded the pirogue into the flat boat as well for use in the pond.

After last weeks pumping, we had decided that the discharge needed to be moved so that it aimed into the inlet at the end of Cell#5. Timmy took the pirogue into the working cell, and Karen used the canoe to access the marsh where the dredge hose was laid. The hose arrangement had a big curve in it, and we needed to pull the discharge as far into the cell as possible to get mud into the inlet. Fortunately the hose had emptied over the weekend, and Karen was able to pull, push, and lift it over the marsh surface to a more efficient angle. Timmy tied ropes onto the discharge float, got out onto the marsh surface to install tie-down poles and then pulled the hose float into place.

Moving the dredge discharge float

Then it was back to the dredge to get is set up for pumping. There is a 2×4 on top of the overhead beam that keeps the shade tarp out of the way of the traveling winch, which tends to vibrate off periodically. So to keep it from moving again, Karen had created some brackets and these were slipped into place. A rubber protector was added to the hose where it rubs on the pump. At this part of the canal, there was less water and more silty sediment for the pump to excavate, and we had noticed that the pump was having trouble making it through the thick layer. The water jets that help to loosen the sediment had been slowly getting blocked and when we checked it all of the bottom jets were plugged. Timmy used a small screwdriver to knock out the rust and get things jetting properly again.

At 10am, dredging commenced. We have things organized so that one person can sit and handle all of the controls, so Karen dredged while Timmy went off to check on the availability of boardwalk material at the old LSU site.  Karen had to stop briefly to rearrange spuds and push the dredge out a bit, as the “walking” motion was moving the dredge too close to the bank.

We took a break to eat lunch and get out of the heat for a while. We started pumping again at 4:20pm, but within 10 minutes, the pump stopped up, and the system was doing some weird surging action. We washed it out, reprimed it and tried again, but couldn’t tell what it was doing. Timmy went into pond to watch effluent and found that it was still not pumping. So we cleaned and primed several times, until Karen had a thought and reached up into the pump to find the impellers jammed by sticks. A stick in the spokes definitely was not conducive to moving mud. We pumped for a good 30 minutes after clearing it to make sure everything was good, then stopped at 6:45 pm for the day.

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