DPWH Acquires IMS Versi-Dredge with Patented WeedMaster®

PHILIPPINES – The Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) recently took delivery of a 2023 IMS Model 5012 LP Versi-Dredge with patented WeedMaster® cutterhead. The dredge was successfully commissioned by IMS’s factory field service technician, Rob Carufel, in the Tulaoc River, Pampanga and will be used to cut and pump water hyacinths and other vegetation several hundred meters away to a remote discharge area. This allows the dredge to effectively clear dense aquatic vegetation in urban environments without needing to rehandle it with multiple excavators or transport boats.  According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, water hyacinths present a significant environmental challenge due to their rapid growth that traps debris and obstructs river flow. It results in heightened flood risks that threaten aquatic biodiversity, fosters disease-carrying vector breeding, and poses a threat to public health.
Ims Model 5012
ABOVE: DPWH’s brand-new IMS Model 5012 LP Versi-Dredge with patented WeedMaster Cutterhead and Weed Rake.

“The patented WeedMaster is helping unclog hyacinths choked waterways in Pampanga to improve water flow and capacity which will help decrease flooding. It is the first of its kind in the Philippines,” said Ryan Horton, Vice President, EDT.

The IMS 5012 LP Versi-Dredge is a dual-function, one-truck transportable, self-propelled dredge.  The 5012 LP’s standard SolidsMaster cutterhead is used for hydraulic dredging down to a maximum depth of 6.7m (22 ft.) and creates an even bottom profile as it takes out uniform, parallel layers of material with minimum suspended solids. It is a shrouded environmental auger design that allows for a higher percentage of solids to be pumped than similar sized basket type cutter dredges. The 5012 LP’s optional WeedMaster cutterhead is used for non-stop shredding and hydraulically pumping vegetation up to 1km away to the discharge area. The Versi-Dredge is the only system in the world that can hydraulically dredge both sediments and vegetation through a dredge pipeline.

Weedmaster Discharge
ABOVE: The discharge from the dredge is several hundred meters away and requires no re-handling by excavators or barges. The water quickly filters back into the river and the chopped hyacinths quickly turns into dry mulch as seen in the background. It dries out much faster than mechanically collected hyacinths in a fraction of the space.

The Weed Rake is attached to the front gantry of the dredge and provides a constant feed of dense hyacinths to the WeedMaster cutterhead. The cutterhead rotates hundreds of rpm with hundreds of serrated razor-sharp agricultural teeth passing through static rows of razor teeth to prevent clogging of the dredge pump. The low-turbidity shroud along with the centrifugal dredge pump creates a powerful vacuum that sends the chopped vegetation at a velocity of up to 3 mps (10 fps) to the discharge area where the vegetation can be collected and rapidly dewatered due to particle size and weight. The patented WeedMaster is effective at cutting and pumping hyacinths, reeds, cattails, milfoil, hydrilla and many other aquatic vegetation types. The WeedMaster technology is proven in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Central Asia, and SE Asia.

ABOVE: The Weed Rake is conveying a consistent feed of dense hyacinths to the WeedMaster cutterhead.

“The DPWH has an impressive maintenance dredging program with hundreds of pieces of equipment working year-round for flood mitigation works. DPWH Bureau of Equipment Director Toribio Noel L. Illao and his team of engineers are highly organized and forward thinking and one of the most impressive public works groups I have seen in 20 years operating in this industry,” said Horton.

Inspecting Arrival Scaled
ABOVE (from left to right): DPWH Bureau of Equipment Director Toribio Noel L. Illao, DPWH Head of Floating Equipment Division, Engr. Roquito L. Consolacion, U.S. Senior Commercial Counselor, Paul Taylor, EDT Vice President, Ryan Horton, and U.S. Commercial Service Specialist, Bebe Montesines at DPWH’s yard inspecting the arrival of the IMS 5012 LP Versi-Dredge.

IMS continues to have a strong presence in the Philippines and the U.S. Embassy has been very supportive. During the handover event, Horton was able to meet with the U.S. Embassy’s Senior Commercial Officer, Paul Taylor, who provided congratulatory remarks at the handover ceremony. Taylor stated “The U.S. Embassy is pleased that the Department of Public Works and Highways chose a manufacturer that has a track record of providing durable and reliable dredging equipment. I am certain that with an Ellicott Dredge Technologies, Versi-Dredge, DPWH can efficiently address environmental challenges and flood risks here in the Philippines and improve the lives and economic opportunities for all Filipinos.”    

The Versi-Dredge just successfully finished its first project clearing water hyacinths from the Tulaoc River. It is starting its second project in mid-November using the SolidsMaster cutterhead attachment to hydraulically dredge sand, silt, and organics. The Versi-Dredge is the only dredge in the world that can cut and pump dense vegetation through a pipeline in addition to its standard hydraulic dredging capabilities making it a highly effective addition to DPWH’s maintenance dredging fleet.

For more information on the IMS 5012 LP Versi-Dredge or the patented WeedMaster cutterhead please contact IMS Sales at [email protected] or call 913-642-5100

Want more information on this story or to speak with an IMS representative about your dredging project?

Related Posts