Placement Area #1 Filling Up Quickly

As dredging on the West Fork of the San Jacinto gets closer and closer to completion, placement area #1 (PA1) is filling up quickly. Callan Marine, the company operating the dredge near Kings Harbor, is pumping its spoils to PA1. PA1 is an old sand pit off Townsend in Humble near North Houston Avenue.

Pipe Big Enough to Hold Two Basketballs Side by Side

I photographed the tail end of their pipeline this morning. The outflow was impressive. Callan uses 20 inch pipe. To put that in perspective, a basketball has a diameter of about 9.5 inches. So two basketballs could go through this pipe side by side with an inch to spare.

Equivalent of Filling Dump Truck Every Minute or Two

Dredgers measure output in cubic yards per hour. The output varies constantly depending on dredging location and conditions. Callan averages between 280 and 600 cy/hr. If the average dump truck holds about 10 cubic yards, that means this pipe could fill up about 30 to 60 dump trucks per hour, or one every minute or two. That explains why they pump via pipeline instead of using dump trucks.

Close up of 20 inch pipeline spewing sand, silt and clay into old sand pit near Townsend and North Houston Avenue in Humble.
Wide shot of same pit shows a little room left for storage near the perimeter in background.

Mouth Bar Update

The Corps expects dredging to complete around May 4. By contract the dredgers then have 30 days to remove their equipment (dredges, pipeline, booster pumps, pontoons, crew boats, etc.) from the river.

That means the deadline is fast approaching to do something about the mouth bar if we want to avoid a remobilization charges for a second job.

This week, according to Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, the City submitted its coring analysis of the mouth bar to FEMA and a storage permit application to the Corps. FEMA and the Corps have not yet approved either.

Mouth bar of the West Fork of the San Jacinto creates a backwater effect that contributes to flooding.

The City reportedly has talked to the dredging companies about delaying demobilization if the City cannot get approval of FEMA funding and a storage permit before the end of dredging.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/29/2019

577 Days since Hurricane Harvey