SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Specialists working with the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began conducting dye tests in the Savannah River this week.
The Corps of Engineers says crews are testing the dissolved oxygen injections systems installed along the Savannah River in Effingham and Chatham Counties as part of its ongoing environmental mitigation program for the Savannah River Expansion Project.
The tests consist of injecting environmentally safe, red dye into the river to determine dispersion of dissolved oxygen through the river’s water column (vertical dispersion) and through the current (horizontal dispersion).
Boaters in the area this week may notice the dye, some of which may reach the surface. The Corps of Engineers says the dye is harmless.
The tests are taking place near the new dissolved oxygen injection system adjacent to Plant McIntosh in Effingham County and in the Savannah River main channel and back river channel across from the Garden City Port in Chatham County.
Workers will inject dye into the river Monday and Tuesday but will continue to monitor the dye’s movement throughout the week. Workers conducted similar tests at the downstream plant in 2019, which the Corps of Engineers says was highly successful.
The DO plants withdraw water from the Savannah River, mix it with oxygen and inject the water back into the river. The process mitigates for the loss of dissolved oxygen for fish and other aquatic life from deepening the harbor to its new authorized depth of 47 feet.
The deepened harbor, once completed in early 2022, will allow the new fleet of larger commercial container ships to call on the Garden City port with a longer tidal window and with heavier loads.
The Corps of Engineers says the improvement will increase access in and out of the port and will save the American economy $282 million annually in transportation costs. For every dollar spent on the SHEP, the economy will see a return of $7.30.