The Dredging Operations Technical Support (DOTS) program provides environmental and engineering technical support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Operations and Maintenance navigation and dredging missions. The DOTS program functions include rapid, short-term technical responses to USACE field offices, technology demonstrations, database management, publications, development, and dissemination of technical guidance and training opportunities.
In addition to its technical support role, the DOTS program is responsible for conducting research and evaluation related to the environmental effects of dredging. This includes evaluating the potential environmental impacts of dredging, identifying and tracking solutions to problems associated with dredging, and sharing those findings with the public.
Dredging, or the removal of accumulated sediment from bodies of water, is crucial to many construction and commercial shipping projects. The process involves a series of specialized pieces of equipment that suck up and pump out the unwanted sediment. It is used to excavate channels and berths and turn basins in the waters where ships transport cargo and people. These dredging activities provide critical navigation and transportation facilities that support our nation’s economy.
In addition, dredging also provides important environmental benefits. It helps reduce eutrophication or the overabundance of nutrients that can kill aquatic life. It also prevents sediment build-up that can reduce water depth and limit the passage of ships. Sediment dredging can also remove sediments contaminated with chemicals or other contaminants, helping maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems and protect human health. The process can also help prevent pollution from building up in waterways near industrial and urban areas.
To ensure that dredging projects meet the federal Clean Water Act requirements, the United States Army Corps of Engineers must follow various state and local laws. In addition, the USACE conducts joint permit applications with local agencies to assure compliance with federal and state water quality standards for work conducted within public water bodies. For this reason, the USACE has a strong national dredging program that includes a variety of procedures and guidelines to protect the environment. These include permitting and water quality certification processes, site characterization, project planning and management, and dredging and disposal activities monitoring.
The National Dredging Team and Regional Dredging Issues Teams oversee the resolution of issues that arise at various levels of the dredging process. These teams work with USACE staff to address local-level issues that arise during the permitting process, dredged material disposal management and planning, and new navigation project planning. The Dredging Operations Technical Support Program (DOTS) supports the National Dredging Team and regional dredging issue teams to help meet the diverse needs of O&M dredging projects across the country. DOTS works to provide dredging project managers with technology to optimize cost-effective operation, assess the risks associated with management alternatives, and comply with environmental laws and regulations.
DOTS Technical Request System
The Dredging Operations Technical Support (DOTS) Program is dedicated to providing comprehensive access to information on technology related to the Army Corps of Engineers navigation and dredging missions. DOTS products and activities support diverse field needs that directly benefit navigation and dredging operations throughout the United States. The DOTS Technical Request System is used to place requests for dredging or navigation technology services and information. DOTS offers a variety of technical response products, including ERDC technical notes, guidance documents, webinars, conference calls, technology demonstrations, site visits, and training opportunities.
DOTS responds to a wide range of dredging and navigation projects, from small, short-term requests to larger, multi-year requests. Each type of project requires a unique level of support and response products.A dredging project often involves a large quantity of sediment that must be removed and transported to a disposal site. Sediment removal and transport generally require a permit. This process can be more costly than alternative technologies, such as capping or monitored natural recovery. Various factors impact the cost of dredging, such as the extent and depth of the area to be dredged and transportation or disposal facilities. Other considerations include dredging material removal costs, the need for mechanical dewatering, and monitoring requirements to meet water quality standards.
In addition, dredging sediments may be released to the environment in large quantities that can be detrimental to human health or the environment. This requires monitoring, treatment, and disposal of dredged materials, as well as treatment of effluent. One of the most common dredging technologies is hopper dredging, which uses hydraulic suction to remove a sediment slurry and place it into a hopper. This method can be cost-effective when space is limited, and the dredged material can be reused or recycled.
Another type of dredging technology is beam dragging, which removes sediment with the help of a beam. This is often used to clean industrial slips and berths. However, this type of dredging can be costly because the cost of labor and equipment is higher than a hopper dredge. In addition, dredging sediments that are unsuitable for residential or agricultural uses can be used in developing commercial sites or mine reclamation. These sediments also may be disposed of at a solid waste landfill or multi-user facility.
The DOTS request system is a simple way to submit a technical support question or issue. After submitting your request, it will be reviewed by the DOTS program manager, and a scientist or engineer from ERDC will contact you to discuss how we can meet your needs. If accepted, DOTS will provide a maximum of 80 hours of the requested scientist’s or engineer’s labor and travel to support your technical request. The system is available for both the public and private sector and is an excellent way to receive free help in a variety of areas, including the design and development of TB treatment programs. In fact, DOTS has become an international standard in the fight against TB and is now recognized by governments worldwide.
DOTS is an acronym for Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course, and is a global TB control strategy implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) that has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the number of new cases of TB worldwide. It is a multifaceted approach that emphasizes implementing strategies and training communities, as well as ongoing political commitment from governments. For more information on DOTS and its impact on TB control, please see the DOTS homepage.
Before you start implementing DOTS, it is important to understand its capabilities and identify the areas where it will benefit your project most. This will allow you to plan ahead and identify which aspects of your projects you will need to convert or start new.
Generally speaking, the learning curve is minimal, and will only take an average professional Unity developer on average 1 month to become proficient at working with DOTS. This time will be offset by the code quality and performance improvements that you will see when you start using DOTS in your projects.
The DOTS system is a part of the Unity game engine, which is an extremely popular and widespread tool for video game developers. However, DOTS is also an ideal solution for any type of data-oriented application and can be used for large interactive maps and environments with lots of models or repetitive content, such as roads or buildings.