IMS has announced the acquisition of a patent pending state-of-the-art dewatering technology that is “inexpensive, reusable, scalable, and does not require polymers.” The technology was invented by an IMS Versi-Dredge customer and then successfully trialled in the US and Europe. IMS recently sold several GeoPools to a customer in the US. Ryan Horton, IMS Dredges Vice President, told IM that the technology “would work well for dewatering mine tailings and settling pond slurries.”The GeoPool dewatering system can operate continuously in a two pool configuration. One pool is cleaned out while the other pool is actively filled. A single Y-fitting with two knife gate valves controls flow to each pool. Dewatering is a key obstacle facing dredge contractors around the globe. “The IMS GeoPool is an innovative dewatering solution that is inexpensive, reusable, scalable, and easy to set up. The system is comprised of a series of 3 m wide x 1.8 m tall dismountable hot dip galvanised steel frames. The frames are linked together to form a circular pool-like structure that is lined with IMS’s unique GeoFabric. It is not the same material as geotextile tube fabric.”The GeoPool filters out thousands of gallons per minute. A hydraulic dredge pumps the slurry directly into the GeoPool. The water from the slurry permeates through the filter fabric, and the solids are retained in the pool. Once a pool is full it is ready for dry down, which takes anywhere from 3-4 days depending on material. Some materials, including ultra fine clays, may take longer and might need a polymer to improve effluent clarity. Once the pool is dry the patent pending GeoPool Collapsible Cleanout Gates are dropped, and tracked earthmovers can enter the pool and remove the dry and stackable solids. During dry down the dredge discharge is diverted to a second pool to allow for continuous operation.The GeoPool is cleaned out with tracked excavators and the fabric is reusable. If the fabric becomes clogged then the user can simply use a power washer to clean it. In addition to the standard dewatering through the filter fabric, the patent pending GeoPool Dump Doors allow for rapid bulk dewatering of clear surface water speeding up the entire process. “The GeoPool’s affordability makes rapid dewatering technology available to contractors and government entities both small and large. IMS GeoPools are reusable so they are a less expensive proposition than geotextile tubes for medium to large projects and for contractors that use geotextile tubes for many of their projects. In addition to this feature, the GeoPools can handle a much larger volume of material than geotextile tubes. It would take 10-40 geotextile tubes to equal the dewatering capacity of one GeoPool. Furthermore, 10 large non-reusable geotextile tubes cost approximately the same as a small GeoPool configuration.”Dewatering bentonite clay was one of the first projects completed with a GeoPool in the US. The material was very fine, but the GeoPool was able to produce an effluent discharge of approximately 200 ppm total suspended solids without a drop of polymer. Results were verified at Astro-Chem Lab Inc. The single GeoPool can hold up to ten times the volume of material as a 22.8 m circumference x 30 m long geotextile tube or over twenty five times the volume of material as a 13.7 m circumference x 30 m long geotextile tube.“Making dewatering technology available to the masses at an affordable price” is IMS’s goal with the GeoPool, and that is why IMS has put in place financing options for the purchase of one or more GeoPools, both in the US and globally. “I have been in the industry for 15 years and developing a dewatering technology that is accessible to the entire market and not just to a select few has always been a priority. It is rewarding to see that day is finally here,” said Horton.