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Why a massive pump on pontoon is floating in Gloucester Docks

The Canal and River Trust dredging in Gloucester Docks (Image: The Canal and River Trust)

Posted on November 24, 2020

The water is being dredged for £200,000 for the next six weeks

Residents in Gloucester Docks can expect an early awakening while a massive pump on a floating pontoon is dredging the water for the next six weeks.

The Canal and River Trust is clearing silt in the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal so that boats can continue to travel through the water unabated.

With the project costing over £200,000, the trust is removing about 12,000m3 of silt from the docks which has drifted up the River Severn.

A water-borne plough pulled by a tug is floating with specialist machinery. This loosens the silt at the bottom of the docks, allowing the pump to extract the stuff.

Mark Evans, Canal and River Trust’s director for Wales & South West, said: “Dredging is an example of the crucial work we do to keep our canals open. If we don’t dredge the waterways become silted up meaning boats cannot move around.

“With more and more people enjoying spending their free time on or near our beautiful waterways we want to ensure the canals are working properly and looking their very best.

The trust are removing silt from the docks

“Dredging is central to this and it’s a never-ending task for the team as the Severn’s huge tidal range means that it constantly deposits large amounts of silt in the canal and Docks.

“The safety of our colleagues and contractors remains a priority, with this project designed to be safely carried out within the Government’s coronavirus guidance.”


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