How much does it cost to dredge my pond?

Each scenario is different, and there are several factors to consider. However, you can expect between $25-$90 per cubic yard. 

Aquatic South recommends using this cost range model to build out your own high, medium, and lower forecasted dredging cost calculator. 

Assume for your forecast that you’ll be removing 500 cubic yards.  Our team has highlighted a few tips on how to lower your dredging costs, as well as techniques our team utilizes to minimize impacts on fish populations.

How can I save money on dredging my pond?

The highest cost for these projects is always in trucking the spoils offsite to be disposed of at the closest landfill.

Trucking costs can be between $325-$400 per truck, depending on the distance to the dump site, type of material, and fuel costs. If there is a way to keep the spoils on site, you can save considerable amounts of money on the project.

How do I even know if my pond or lake needs to be dredged?

Oftentimes it is obvious that your pond is filling up with sediment due to erosion upstream, naturally occurring run-off and decaying vegetation.

You may see your pond shrinking or islands forming near the inlets.

We recommend starting with a survey completed by one of our partners or us. We can determine the average sediment accumulation throughout your pond.

These are bathymetric surveys that will provide a foundation for determining how many cubic yards to remove in order to restore your aquatic environment back to its original depth.

Does the water need to be drained from my pond?

The short answer is no.

We can mechanically dredge your pond at full pool. However, this can add complexity and cost to the project depending on the current depth, etc.

Rarely if ever, does the pond need to be completely drained to perform the work.

What are the advantages of lowering the water level before dredging?

One primary advantage is that it helps de-water the muck, allowing for shorter drying times prior to either spreading the spoils onsite or hauling in trucks, thus lowering the overall cost of the project.

The second advantage is we can see exactly what we are doing, and you can clearly see the progress in real-time.

You will see how the project is taking shape, the impact we are making, and how much is being removed.

Why should I dredge my pond in the first place?

There are some exceptions, but almost every single pond and lake in Georgia is man-made, and most serve as detention/retention ponds.

The depth of a healthy pond is typically considered to be 3-4 feet at the lowest, with it gradually gaining depth in the middle or near the dam.

However, water runoff draws sediment into your pond, which accumulates at about 1 inch per year. Sometimes you can clearly see the results of your pond filling with sediment/muck.

Other times, you may see secondary effects such as additional aquatic vegetation growth, poor water quality, or even dying marine animals and fish.

Restorative dredging usually takes place every 5-15 years, depending on your watershed, erosion, and additional run-off.


There are two main methods of dredging. Aquatic South specializes in mechanical dredging, which means we use specialized excavation equipment to mechanically remove the spoils and debris in your pond.

The spoils are then either spread on-site or loaded directly into dump trucks to be taken off-site.

The other main type of dredging is known as hydraulic dredging. Hydraulic dredging is like a giant vacuum, sucking the muck and sludge from the bottom and pumping it into giant de-watering bags onsite.

The spoils are then allowed to dry over the course of a few months, the bags are cut open, and the spoils are loaded into trucks or spread onsite.

There are several factors to consider when deciding which method is best for you, and we can help you determine which is best for your dredging project.


The short answer is no, but like most things, each scenario is different.

No matter which dredging method is used, sediment and muck will be turned up and become Aqu“suspended” in the water column.

This can be mitigated by using turbidity curtains and lowering the water level appropriately so that the areas to be excavated are above the water line.

Even when the water level is lowered, there is typically enough space left in the ponds for all the fish to be comfortable during the project, provided there is enough water depth and oxygen in the water.

In fact, many pond owners deliberately do a winter drawdown to allow the fish to continue feeding without having to move around as much as to slow down their metabolisms in the winter.


We refer to the spoils as all the dirt, sand, sediment, decomposed material, etc, that is being removed from your body of water.

These can range from mostly sand to mostly muck, depending on your ecosystem.

This material is very nutrient-dense, is a phenomenal additive for any landscape, and makes for excellent topsoil.

Our clients use this material to spread in their gardens, farmers use it in their pastures and fields, and larger companies often screen this material to provide clean topsoil.