Technical potential

Developing new civil engineering applications based on dredged sediments

Currently the reuse of dredged sediments from marine ports and waterways is limited due to technical, economic, social and/or legislative constraints. CEAMaS has worked on technical issues for reusing marine sediments for civil engineering applications by connecting the sediment’s composition and characteristics with regulations and potential sludge treatment procedures and application requirements.

In the CEAMaS project, dredged sediments from different locations have been characterized, treated and tested in order to elaborate reliable sediment-based formulations. Various civil engineering applications (such as infrastructure, coastal protection works or as a building, fill or cap material) have been evaluated from a theoretical viewpoint and experimentally at the laboratory scale.

In addition, the CEAMaS project allowed progress in on-site sediment characterisation. These emerging techniques secure the sediment material quality for reuse project during the dredging campaign by real time hot spot identification allowing dredging strategy adaptation in order to avoid costs or potential impacts by adding highly contaminated sediment in non/low contaminated sediments.

Technical data have been used as inputs for other issues dealt with in CEAMaS as well as environmental and economic modelling, education and training or knowledge building.

The Ecole Centrale de Lille coordinates the development of technical potential of sediments reuse at European level with the other partners of the project (TU Delft, cd2e, BRGM, BBRI, CIT, UCC).

Main results

CEAMaS project has clearly shown that sediment reuse may be a valid technical solution and many example of reuse possibility have been identified. The options and techniques to use vary with the sediment characteristics and the application, but many solutions are feasible.

The link between sediment properties and legislation for reuse options has been investigated and demonstrated. It has been shown that within the same EU legislation, for a given sediment, countries where sediments are considered under EU Water Directives are less restrictive than countries where sediment reuse is considered under the EU Waste Directives .

So, while the sediment quality standards in Flanders and The Netherlands allow higher contaminant concentrations, the application of the sediment also has to pass a second tier approach (in this case, a leaching test).

Focusing on emissions instead of total sediment concentrations often increases the reusability of sediments. This facilitates a larger scale application of reused sediments.


Learn more on several best practices

& legislation status for sediments tools

Find tools and data regarding technical issues for sediment reuse developed under CEAMaS.

CEAMaS technical reports to go further…