Every day for the past week, crews have removed 80 truck loads of sand from the Sacramento Marina, another example of the impacts of a record-wet winter.
They’ve removed around 5,000 cubic yards, about twice the amount that was removed last year. Before crews could even bring a crane in to dredge the channel, they first had to remove hundreds of cubic feet of sand.
"So, we ended up with a beach that was about four-to-six feet higher than it had ever been,” marina manager Keith Underwood said. “The launch ramp, every time the water receded, there was another two feet of silt on that."
Around 240 times a day, crane operators drop a "clam shell" bucket into the marina, remove a load of sand and then dump it into a waiting truck. It takes just three buckets to fill a truck.
Underwood said this type of dredging helps reduce the turbidity in the river.
"Once you start to re-suspend the contaminants or the silt, now you're talking about that going into the gills of fish and things,” he said. “So, that's not good either. That's why a clam shell works really well. It goes in, grabs, and comes out."
The California Water Quality Control Board will test the sand for toxins, then debris will then be shipped to the Kiefer landfill for re-use. The whole operation costs the city of Sacramento about $100,000.