During the month of August 2019, the annual meeting of the international representatives of the Watermaster eco-dredge took place at the Loimaa factory in southern Finland. This versatile tool is being increasingly used globally as a multipurpose, amphibious, self-propelled vessel for environmental regeneration projects, both in salt and fresh water environments.
The technical meeting was attended by representatives of the Finnish brand in Brazil, China, Colombia, Estonia, Ghana, Holland, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States, in addition to Acuinuga as representative for the manufacturer in Portugal and Spain.
The different training workshops held at the production facilities of this unique eco-dredge covered aspects such as the technical improvements in the Classic V version, incorporating larger pumping ducts, improved support plates in the rear stabilizers, a more efficient design of the front floats and an upgraded booster station delivering higher capacities for extending the sludge discharge line or increasing height discharge.
The evolution of Watermaster during the 30 years since its conception derives from constant developments introduced by the Aquamec team, improving operational capability for carrying out environmental recovery projects in waters suffering pollution or eutrophication, for sediment cleanup, flood prevention, removal of invasive vegetation, harbor draught increase, industrial pond cleanup, maintenance of marinas, pile driving works, bank reinforcement, coastal protection, waste removal (organic, plastic, algae ), regeneration of urban canals, dam and reservoir dredging etc.
Maintaining the operational range at water depths of up to 6,5 m, this powerful, highly mobile tool has evolved from offering sludge cutting, crushing and pumping capabilities of up to 375 m3/h in its 1986 Classic I model, to the current 900 m3/h delivered by the Classic V model, marketed since 2016. The meeting also included several specific sessions on the performance and guarantee coverage of the new 205 kW Caterpillar C7.1 propulsion unit, and the stage V emission control regime compliant with European Union regulations. A dedicated technical workshop on the inertization strategies available for sensitive, valuable or dangerous sediments through the geotubes technique, including product selection and dosage for authorized flocculants in environmental applications, reflected the growing range of projects implementing this practical, cost-saving approach.
With the discussion of current results in several environmental restoration projects that are being carried out at various locations, such as the cleanup of navigation canals in Chennai (India), the construction and maintenance of recreational marinas in France, the recovery of valuable minerals in South Africa or the regeneration of the Fúquene lagoon in Cundinamarca (Colombia), Watermaster’s operational capabilities under different environments and applications were contrasted, highlighting the cumulative know-how and the experience acquired by an international, multidisciplinary team for the implementation of practical solutions in environmental remediation worldwide.