Fountain creek sediment collector - case study


Courtesy of Streamside, LLC.

An innovative sediment management method, a 30-ft wide, high capacity, Sediment Collector, is currently installed in Fountain Creek, Pueblo, Colorado upstream of the confluence with the Arkansas River.  This installation is intended to demonstrate a new technology available to reduce the need for dredging.  The purpose of the Sediment Collector is to demonstrate the capability to lower downstream grade to reduce flooding and ultimately reduce sediment deposition. The system operates on the principle that sediment in bedload can be trapped by gravity and removed at the natural rate of transport, instead of episodically.


The Sediment Collector uses the energy of the stream to selectively capture bedload sediments (fine sands to gravel), which pass through the stainless steel grate and collect within the hopper while finer sediments (silts and clays) remain in suspension and pass over the Collector.

The Sediment Collector System consists of following main parts:

SEDIMENT COLLECTOR: The Sediment Collector consists of three components; steel body & hopper, urethane manifold system, and an internal dredge pump.

Steel Construction:  The primary components of the Sediment Collector are constructed of half-inch mild steel coated with marine grade epoxy for wear protection.

Urethane Manifold System: The internal urethane components are replaceable as they serve as a primary wear point.  This manifold system is located within the hopper to balance the suction and return water.

Internal Dredge Pump: A 50HP submersible dredge pump is housed within the downstream ramp of the Collector and propels the water and sediment slurry to the discharge area.

RETURN TANK & PUMP:  The return water tank and helps to pressurize return water to the Collector to allow particles within the hopper to remain fluidized.

ONSHORE CONTROLLER:  Electronic controls enable automatic or remote operation, reducing the cost of labor to supervise operation. The system can be set to cycle and run at specified times or operate off data pulled from a stream gauge station.

SCREW SEPARATOR:  The screw separator is the initial step in the handling process.  The sediment/water slurry pumped from the Collector system is discharged in a tank at the base of the screw separator.  The screw separator dewaters the sediment and discharges semi-dry material at a rate of up to 100 tons per hour.

CONVEYOR SPREADER:  Upon dewatering, the conveyor spreader receives the material and conveys it to the desired location.  Sediment is stockpiled until it can be hauled away.

RESULTS:  Monitoring of the project has been underway since installation. Specific performance data was collected at various flow rates over approximately 500 hours and the peak measured production rate for the 30 ft Collector is 100 cu yds/hour. At this rate, if sufficient bedload were available, the single 30 ft collector would move 876,000 cu yds/year. The system uses about 1kwh per minute of operation. If the system were run continuously for 1 year, electricity cost would be about $52,600 (based on cost of $0.10/kwh).

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