Alternative Dredging Techniques for Muck Removal

Is your body of water overcome with muck or sediment?

Has your search for muck removal led you to believe that dredging your lake or pond is the best solution?

The truth is that conventional dredging techniques are expensive, disruptive, and messy. The process involves lowering the water level or draining the waterbody altogether before heavy equipment excavated bottom sediment.  The draining can cause widespread harm to or destruction of the wildlife community.  During excavation, sediment is removed by trucks and taken to disposal sites.  This typically creates an unsightly mess.  After dredging, shoreline often requires complete restoration, including regrading, re-seeding, and tree planting.

While conventional dredging techniques deepen a lake or pond, which makes it more difficult for submerged vegetation to grow, there is no guarantee that dredging can help improve water quality. In fact, according to the USEPA dredging does nothing to control algae, reduce odor, prevent fish kill, improve fish health and maintain a clean lake or pond bottom. On the contrary, it mixes phosphorus, nitrogen and other pollutants found in muck into the water.

Unfortunately, while conventional dredging may deepen a waterbody and increase its volume, it is often not a long-term solution.  It does not address the systemic causes of organic sediment accumulation, which is primarily responsible for undesirable muck and lake shallowing.  Surely, there’s a better way to get rid of the muck!

The Cost of Traditional Pond or Lake Dredging

The cost of conventionally dredging a pond or a lake is dependent on many different variables. However, a rule of thumb is that dredging can cost from $20,000 to $75,000 per acre. When determining the cost of traditional dredging, there are four main questions to answer:

  1. How much sediment is there to dredge?
  2. What is the size of the water body?
  3. What is the content and condition of the material that needs to be dredged?
  4. Where can you put the dredged material once it’s removed from the lake?Dredging Techniques- The Cost of Dredging a Lake- Clean-Flo

To determine the quantity of muck, a bathymetric and vegetation survey must be performed through the entire body of water. A core sampling survey may also be needed to gather information about the softness or thickness of the sediment.  For traditional dredging techniques, after the sediment amount is accessed, the next step is to find an area to put the muck on land once it’s removed.  Most people underestimate the amount of land needed to contain the removed muck. Typically for every two acres of lake or pond dredged, there’s an average of three feet of sediment, which requires an acre of land with an elevation of about 6 feet.  Because the cost of disposal depends directly on the disposal site’s distance from the lake, if a suitable site is not locally available, the process can become altogether unviable.

Environmental Impact of Dredging

Since dredging requires the removal of unwanted sediment at the expense of the water body’s wildlife, it poses a huge threat to the water body’s health, shoreline, and landscape. The primary focus of traditional dredging is to remove the submerged sediment deposits.  The environmental consequences include:

  • Significant negative impact on sensitive ecosystems. Soil deposits in any given body of water have a certain pre-disposed composition which dredging can alter in a way that destroys natural biotic communities.  The existing creatures and organisms that depend on the original composition are put at risk and may eventually die out due to the changes.
  • Bottom sediment becomes compacted, giving rise to the propagation of new, harmful organisms.
  • Transferring unwanted organisms to other parts of the body of water, leading to a larger spread of contamination and the release of unwanted nutrients.
  • A heavy toll on the landscape and shoreline of the water. In order to bring in the equipment needed for dredging, it may be required to remove trees and other vegetation surrounding the water body, and afterward replace them.


Natural and Inexpensive Dredging Alternative for Sediment Removal

Clean-Flo’s natural dredging alternative methods don’t consist of the physical removal of organic sediment. Therefore, there is no need for heavy equipment, trucking, or off-site disposal and the related negative consequences.

At Clean-Flo, our alternative dredging follows a three-step process.  First, the lake’s depth, bottom composition, and vegetation are evaluated.   Second, a system of laminar-flow inversion and oxygenation is designed to create the aerobic conditions that are required for the rapid decomposition of organic sediment.  Third, a bioaugmentation program is designed to accelerate sediment digestion and re-establish a thriving food chain that begins to naturally process and remove the nutrients and organic matter that have accumulated over time.

If you are looking for a solution to shallowing of your waterbody, excessive organic muck accumulation, and excessive algae and weed growth brought about by nutrient loading, the combination of CLEAN-FLO Continuous Laminar Flow Inversion/ Oxygenation System and our natural biological products are an effective, natural and inexpensive alternative to conventional dredging.  Our approach has consistently achieved outstanding results, as indicated by numerous case studies.  Examples of these are described in additional blog posts, and more are available upon request.

Our Natural Muck Reduction Products

Muck Reduction Product- CFLO+- Clean-Flo


C-FLO+ are specially formulated slow release disks consisting of beneficial microbes with natural plant enzymes which feed on non-living organic sediment (muck) at the bottom of all water bodies.



Muck Reduction Product- Clean & Clear- Clean-FloCLEAN & CLEAR™ CONCENTRATED ENZYMES is a special blend of non-toxic enzymes from nature that acts as a catalyst to biodegrade non-living organic matter and reduces available nutrients in the water, thus improving water quality.





Muck Reduction Product- CLO-P- Clean-FloC-FLO P – microbial pellet formulation to consume bottom non-living organic sediment, while insects feed on the micro-organisms and fish feed on the insects. Muck disappears while fish thrive on natural food.





Adding one of our aeration systems to the body of water is an absolute must to maximize the benefits of these products without the need of costly, damaging dredging techniques. In addition to C-FLO+, C-FLO P and Clean & Clear Concentrated Enzymes, we offer other natural muck reduction products.

Contact us today for more information about our alternative organic muck reduction techniques.

Improve your water body now!

The following bioaugmentation products are beneficial for all water bodies to reduce nutrients, improve water quality, reduce organic muck and stimulate beneficial diatom growth that will convert nutrients into healthy food for fish.  Best results are achieved with our aeration and oxygenation system.