Action 4: Implementation of an integrated system for management of sediment dredged

During this phase, the results of Actions 1,2,3 are used to integrate activities linked to the study, including: dredging, separation treatment, effective reuse, end disposal, as well as for other activities, including the coordination, within a network of 9 small harbors, of an integrated sediment management system. This phase is mainly followed by Sogesid, with some involvement of local municipalities and potential beneficiaries of recycled sediment.

Beneficiaries involvement:

Main role: SOGESID


  • A.4.1: First evaluation and selection of the most appropriate size-separated fractions management options.
  • A.4.2: Investigation on specific requirements and legislative aspects for each identified management option.
  • A.4.3: Selection of the most feasible options.
  • A.4.4: Market analysis.
  • A.4.5: Definition of the network-based system.

    click photo to enlarge

Download: Reports of the subactions


Summary of the Action

A.4.1: First evaluation and selection of the most appropriate size-separated fractions management options

The different options for the management of fractions resulting from the separation grain size of the sediments  were studied.

  • Recovery and reuse for environmental
  • of coastal land
  • as filling abandoned quarries
  • for the nourishment of beaches emerged and submerged
  • for offshore facilities (salt marshes, submerged barriers, breakwaters, etc.)
  • Recovery and reuse as material for different structures:
  • detected and substrates road and rail,
  • in coastal infrastructure (buildings, parking lots, roads)
  • extracting specific elements and reuse in production cycles
  • port facilities and mobile platforms
  • embankments and embankments
  • Disposal without reuse, permanent home in:
  • Tanks filled
  • re placing on the open sea
  • landfills

Some examples: Recovery and reuse – environmental restoration      click photo to enlarge   Recovery and reuse – materials for different structures   click photo to enlarge

Disposal without reuse – Location in structures and not contaminated.

click photo to enlarge In this subaction were also analyzed some practical experiences of reuse of dredged sediments as:

  •  experience of integrated management of sediment in the Marche region
  • Use of dredged sediments for land recorded in the USA and Canada

Download the output document of the action 4.1 “List of options for dredged sediments beneficial use” (in Italian) [download id=”43″]

A.4.2: Investigation on specific requirements and legislative aspects for each identified management option.

Are under analysis, the main international standards, national, regional, international conventions, etc.. The critical element for this activity is the availability of information and data necessary to meet the objectives of the project There is no specific legislation on management of sediment. It was necessary to identify areas where legislation can fall sediment management activities after identifying the reference standard. Legislative areas in which activities fall sediment management:

  • PORTS,

Levels of legislation:

  • UE LEGISLATION  deepening  
  • NATIONAL LEGISLATION   deepening   
  • REGIONAL LEGISLATION   deepening   

Plans for coastal defense, plans and projects that provide assistance in coastal areas, environmental restoration, expansion of infrastructure or other public works; census activities in sectors potentially affected. In general in all levels of European legislation apply the following principles:

  • precautionary principle on the basis of the principles of impact assessment and monitoring of the effects associated, some substances may be discharged into the sea
  •  “polluter pays” according to which the financial responsibility for the payment of damages caused to the environment is the responsibility of the party (parties) that produced the pollution
  •  integrated management of coastal zones: each intervention in coastal areas must be implemented with an integrated approach that covers all aspects of socio-economic and environmental.

At the national level as well as the rules of the various sectors (see references cited above), it is worth highlighting the presence of certain documents containing guidelines for the management of dredged sediments that, despite not having legislative force, represent a fundamental point of reference for anyone involved in this matter. One of these is the “Manual handling of marine sediments” prepared in 2007 by APAT and ICRAM. The manual classifies the sediments on the basis of their physico-chemical characteristics and ecotoxicological properties, identifying different management alternatives for each quality class defining for each class options for reuse.    clik to enlarge Download the final report of Action 4.2 – “Report of the national and regional regulation to be complied with”  [download id=”44″]

A.4.3: Selection of the most feasible options.

Objective: To define the feasibility of different management methods identified in the territorial context Method: Evaluation different options for managing with the results of the characterization performed in the port areas interested and with processing of the tests in a laboratory scale, analysis of local context. Input: results of the actions 4.1, 4.2 and 3.2 (Characterization of the separated fractions based on Action 2.4) In this action were evaluated alternatives management of dredged sediments according to the following scheme. The work involved the following steps: summary of the main findings in the previous analyzes (show the detail of the summary by clicking here); spatial analysis identifying constraints and opportunities for the management of dredged sediments and recycled. In particular have been identified:

  • treatment and disposal facilities’ recovery
  • abandoned quarries,
  • sites for the environmental recovery
  • areas available for new plant location storage and treatment
  • sites for nourishment
  • road infrastructure connecting
  • presence in the territory of protected, naturals and criticals areas

click here for details on the constraints and opportunities existing  in the areas

 A.4.4: Market analysis

Objective: To identify a potential market for the use the output size fractions in the territorial area of interest. Method: Identify the public and private stakeholders interested to the use and management of life rels output sediment fractions. Input: results of 4.3, coastal defense plans, Plans and Projects involving interventions in coastal areas, environmental restoration, expansion of infrastructure or other public works; identify those activities operating in potentially involved sectors. Aeepening: Actions 4.3 and 4.4 – Report on market analysis and potential end-user identification [Due to the big size, this attachment is available by sending a request by e-mail to:]

  A.4.5: Definition of the network-based system

Objective: establishment of a network for the integrated management of size fractions from all the ports affected by the project, structured along the phases of the production chain (dredging, size fractionation, treatment, interim storage, transportation, end use) Method: explore ways of connection between those involved, given the logistics, the quantity and quality of materials handled, time required in each management phase The activity A.4.5 consisted in the definition of a network-based system integrated management of sediments, characterized of different granular sizes, coming from all harbors included in the project. The integrated management network is based on the principal phases in development chain in order to reuse the sediments (dredging, granulometric separation, treatment, temporary storage, transport and final end use). Part of the activity has been to define the procedure to identify subjects involved in the process, and connections between them, taking into consideration logistic aspects, quantity and quality of material in movement and time aspects related to the different management phases. The activity is based on the outcomes of the actions 4.3 and 4.4. The work has been developed in logic steps, as described below:

  • based on the information of the Regione Emilia Romagna, has been estimated the volumes of sediments to dredge and manage in every single harbor involved in the project;
  • the materials has been classified in respect of the criteria indicated in the “Manuale per la movimentazione dei sedimenti marini” (“Manual about marine sediments moving”) written by APAT-ICRAM in 2007;
  • the outcome of Action 3.6, aimed to test sediment washing treatment in a pilot plant, treating sediments from 4 of the 9 harbors involved in the project, was then used to define the different options for the final use of the sediments, considering the granular size of the different fractions;
  • based on the different quality classes defined for sediments and the results regarding the different fraction sizes as defined during the activities summarized above, possible uses have been defined, for every different type of sediment and for each single harbor;
  • based on the analysis of the territory of the project area, carried out as part of the activities in action 4.3, different sites suitable for storage and/or realization of new treatment plants have been identified;
  • logistic aspects has been analyzed to define suitable transportation pathways from the different harbors to the sites adapted for storage and treatment plants;
  • based on the same territorial and market analysis, suitable end-uses sites and subjects interested in the final destination of the sediments have been identified: used as a resource for beach nourishment, industries that could use treated sediments in their production processes, abandoned caves that needs to be recovered or, if not possible to reuse, suitable sites to deposit and waste disposal.
  • suitable transportation pathways from the sites adapted for storage and treatment plants to the final destination sites have been evaluated;
  • the results from a market analysis (actions 4.4) has been used to define the treatment techniques necessary to adapt the sediments for the different possible end-uses, in order to estimate a possible market share for treated marine sediments.
  • based on the market analysis, costs and time-limits associated to each of the different management options for treated sediments have been identified considering different phases and final destination: dredging, transportation from harbor to storage or treatment site, storage, treatment, transportation to final destination, beach nourishment, commercial use or if not possible to reuse, waste disposal.

The project activities carried out as described above, has contributed to elaborate a general overview of how to connect the different sites in an effective manner and to define cost ranges and time-limits connected to the different management options and sediment types of the 9 harbors involved in the project. The costs range between € 10 and € 120 per cubic meter sediment to manage, depending on the possibilities that the sediment can be dredged, treated and used on the same site, without the necessity to involve intermediates, or if the sediment will have to be disposed as a final disposal as waste. The time necessary to carry out the different management options, depending on harbor, varies between 6 and 70 working days. It also depends on the volumes of sediments to drag (the volumes of sediments to drag varies between about 900 cubic meters in the harbor of Cesenatico and 12.000 cubic meters in the harbor of Cervia). The final activity has been to develop an interface that make it possible to visualize contemporary all the information gathered on the territory of interest. The interface has been developed based on the ESRI Open Source platform, more specific ArcGIS Explorer Desktop. ArcGIS Explorer Desktop offers the possibility to visualize a GIS for free, the information is accessible in a simple and direct manner and it’s easy to visualize and share GIS information for all subjects involved in the management and reuse of treated sediments. The interface also offers the possibility to visualize maps containing different geographic information regarding: harbors, sites suitable for treatment plants and intermediate storage, sites suitable for final destination (beach nourishment, productive cycles, environmental restoration, waste disposal), transportation networks between the different sites involved for the different management options. A part of the geographic information, the system also contains descriptions of every single element (harbor, intermediate site, final destination site and transportation). Aeepening: Documento finale dell’Azione 4.5: Sistema di gestione integrata dei sedimenti di nove piccoli porti della Regione Emilia-Romagna (only in Italian)[download id=”96″]