The project is performed in partnership with with Deltares and Envisan nv.
W:StS is called to develop a technology that will enable Port and Navigational Authorities (and potentially other Authorities managing fine sediments) to transform dredged sediment rapidly and economically into soil. Currently sediment dredged from Gent-Terneuzen Canal is stored in lagoons at the sediment treatment plant of Envisan (Jan de Nul) for their dewatering at drying fields. This dewatering takes months, with usually one individual lagoon being able to treat just two to three sediment batches per year. Preliminary tests funded by Deltares and executed in collaboration with Jan de Nul and Haedes have demonstrated that a certain species of worms, when added to the sediment in the correct proportion and conditions, have the potential to speed up this process up to a factor 12. Such increase in rotation of the lagoons would be a revolutionary event in the field of dredged sediment management and its transformation to soil via dewatering, and ultimately to the entire dredging and sediment disposal industry. Our method is passive (the grey alternative would be heavy machinery compacting the sediment), and it is believed to have a positive impact in decreasing methane emissions due to the worm’s ability to oxidize the sediment rapidly. This project contributes to finetune the concept of W:StS, which will constitute an improvement to existing methods to transform sediment into soil.