Sediment stories

Tell us your stories and inspire other people !

2015 is proclaimed as the International Year of Soils. The potential of soils and sediments to provide solutions for current societal challenges deserves to be put in the spotlight.

On this page we present inspirational stories about the societal relevance of sediments.  At the Sednet Conference 2015 in Krakau, participants were asked to share their stories. Even if you could not attend the Sednet Conference, you are invited to take a look at the stories, reflect on your own inspiring experiences and send us your own stories via The stories can take on different forms: from written words, to images, audio and movies. 

seattle art museum vroeger en nu

Sediment remediation is a unique opportunity to reconnect a city with the waterfront

The Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle consist of an outdoor sculpture museum and beach. The former industrial site was occupied by the oil and gas corporation Unocal until the 1970s and subsequently became a contaminated brownfield before the Seattle Art Museum, proposed to transform the area into one of the only green spaces in Downtown Seattle and to reconnect the city to the waterfront. The Seattle Art Museum resolved to return the site as much as possible to a functioning ecosystem, while providing a unique setting for outdoor sculpture and public recreation. The design afforded a wide range of environmental restoration processes, including brownfield redevelopment, salmon habitat restoration, native plantings and sustainable design strategies.



Tea Foss WaterwayThea Foss Waterway: succesful transition and revival through remediation

The Thea Foss Waterway sparkles with new life today thanks to a historic cleanup of the contaminated sediments . The Thea Foss Waterway has been the site of industry for more than 100 years. Back then, industries dumped waste into the waterway and sewers emptied right into the bay. At that time people believed that the tides carried the waste away. We know now that isn't the way it worked -- the pollutants bonded with the sediments, that act like a sponge and settled into the waterways. This historical practice led to the accumulation of huge amounts of contaminated sediments. The sanitation costs were very high but the return in investment came soon. There was an 8 fold increase in property values and an initial investment of more than 200 million US$.

The Sand engine: Using the advantage of erosion

This Dutch "Sand Engine" Uses Nature's Destructive Power To Protect From Flooding. Using the natural processes of erosion to their advantage, Dutch engineers are putting sand into the ocean in places where it will be washed up onto their beaches, creating stronger dunes to withstand the inevitable rising waters. (video)

God created the world but the Dutch created the Netherlands

Netherlands is sediment land, without sediment there would never have been the Netherlands. We need sediment to sustain our country (Jos Brils, Deltares).

The Netherlands' name literally means "Lower Countries", influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea level.Most of the areas below sea level are man-made. Since the late 16th century, large areas (polders) have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, amounting to nearly 17% of the country's current land mass. (

Water is more than H20

Storms, of course, deliver large amounts of water to a river, but did you know they also bring along lots of eroded soil and debris from the surrounding landscape? Soil particles as small as tiny clay particles and as large as boulders moved by the water are called sediment.

Read more on sediment transport and the effect of too much/too little/contaminated sediment:

The use of 600 000 m3 of contaminated sediments made the construction of Enbraport financially feasable

Construction of the biggest port infrastructure project in Latin America (Enbraport) became financially feasible only after it had become possible to use the 600.000 m3 of contaminated sediments in the turning bassin and entry channel as filling material to reach the platform elevation of +3,5m. Experience of Geotextile tubes & Ten Cate Geotube® changed the sludge from a negatively valued function to a USD 50 million savings service. The owner no longer had to acquire a disposal facility and no longer had to import expensive filling material.