Good practice management of in-channel sediments

Effectiveness for Biological Quality Elements

Research has been undertaken into the impacts of sediment removal as part of the "River Sediments and Habitats Review of Maintenance and Capital Works" Research and Development project (SC040015). This project has demonstrated the impacts of removal of sediment through the use of five case studies of different river types. A key conclusion of the project is that sediment removal should be minimised where possible. Dredging has an impact on in-channel habitats that are intrinsic to the nature of the activities and their impact on habitats can range from minor to severe depending upon the nature of the river and the works carried out. Avoidance of sediment removal would avoid these impacts.

In general, high energy sediment systems adjust and recover more rapidly than low energy systems. The number of invertebrate taxa recovers within months of work being carried out but the number of individuals may be severely affected for a significant period.

Academic references

Agate, E. and Brooks, A. (2003) Waterways and wetlands: a practical manual. British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

Bridle, R., Greenwood, S., Newman, M. and Moysey, D. (2001) Floods and flood alleviation at Melton Mowbray, England. [In] Midttømme, G.H., Honningsvåg, B., Repp, K., Vaskinn, K. and Westeren, T. (eds.) Dams in a European Context. AA Balkema, Lisse.

Saldi-Caromile, J., Bates, K., Skidmore, P., Barenti, J. and Pineo, D. (2004) Stream Habitat Restoration Guidelines. Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Ecology and United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Olympia, Washington.