Dams & Desiltation

Dams & Desiltation

Removing silt, sand, and gravel, from behind a dam and near its intakes is vital for the efficient operation of the power generation system. Sedimentation build-up diminishes a dam’s electric generation and water volume eventually requiring dredging to control efficient operation. In reservoirs, eroding sediment can slowly build and cause concentrated water storage and water quality issues. This buildup can impact leisure activities as well as aquatic life. Industrial runoff can further pollute the water. Ellicott dredges have been used successfully in each of these applications.

Ellicott Models

<Series 670 Dragon® Dredge
14” x 14” (350 mm x 350 mm)

Hydro Dams

Using a dredge to eliminate silt, fine, sand, gravel, and other debris from behind a dam and around its intakes similar to a structure like the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) or Germany’s Rappode Dam is a vital function that assures efficient operation of a dam’s power generation system and an appropriate water level supply.


The natural flow of water commonly causes the need for frequent dredging of reservoirs in places such as Guatemala or Singapore.  In addition to dredging for salt or gravel in mines, reservoir dredging is one of the most commonly practiced forms of dredging. Reservoirs provide pools of drinking water for people in Malaysia and power to natives in Uganda among other places around the world.

The cost of dredging to preserve a reservoir almost pays for itself due to the simple fact that reservoirs also serve as a natural food source and habitat for many living plants and animals. Natural erosion, water pollution, and deforestation all contribute to clogging reservoirs with silt and other rubbish that threaten these natural resources. Dredging is a much-needed maintenance activity for reservoirs throughout the world.


Even though typically smaller in size, barrages still require regular maintenance to ensure capacity and power generation. Ellicott’s small and medium-sized cutter suction dredges are ideal for these sized projects – especially those in remote locations where shipping large pieces of equipment is not possible.

Case Studies