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 City to test new dredging equipment

Published by the Mason Valley News on May 18, 2012

Written by Keith Trout

The construction portion of the City of Yerington dredging project is nearing completion, with an operations test of the dredging equipment and system slated for Thursday morning.

The dredging project is funded from a $1.2 million grant the city received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which is the administrator of the federally-funded Walker River Basin Restoration Project.

The Yerington City Council, in January, awarded a bid in the amount of $468,510 for the Walker River Dredging Project to Desert Engineering of Yerington, with construction beginning in mid-February.

The project includes installation of the dredge, construction of settling ponds and placement of a sand classifier, sand screw and radial stacker, plus installation of power to the dredge site, extended from the city sewer plant to the dredge site near the Weir on property owned by Circle Bar N Ranch.

The idea for this project originated from Circle Bar N Ranch owner Tom Reviglio, and it was taken from dredging projects done in the Midwest, such as on the Mississippi River.

City Manager Dan Newell said the suction dredge involves pumping holes in the river bottom, with sediment from upriver filling the hole, which serves to lower the overall sediment level in a stretch of the river. The process includes the sand/sediment and water slurry-type mixture transported by the other equipment to the sand classifier, from where the water goes to settling ponds and the separated sand goes to a pile for other uses.

From there, the clean water is returned to the river as part of a cycle.

The dredging, according to project engineer Farr West Engineering, is scheduled to continue for nine months.

Newell, though, said that will continue as long as the water remains high enough.