The environmental impact of mis-managed reservoirs comes under ever increasing scrutiny as environmental consequences gain prominence. The expansion of the Mining Industry and wet processing of ore has led to a corresponding growth in the number and size of reservoirs.

A tailings dam is typically an earth-fill embankment dam used to store byproducts of mining operations after separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction of an ore. Tailings dams rank among the largest engineered structures on earth. A key difference between tailings dams and the more familiar hydro dams is the potential for long term storage of environmentally hazardous material. Copper, gold, iron, uranium and other mining operations produce varied kinds of waste, much of it toxic, which pose varied challenges for long-term containment.

When dams fail, the social and economic consequences can be devastating, as recently witnessed in Brazil.

The Bento Rodrigues dam disaster in the mineral rich state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, occurred on 5 November 2015, when an iron ore tailings dam near the town of Bento Rodrigues, suffered a catastrophic failure, causing flooding and at least 17 deaths.

About 60 million cubic meters of iron waste flowed into the Doce River, with toxic brown mudflows reaching the Atlantic Ocean 17 days later. The total impact and environmental consequences to the river and the beaches near its mouth, or to the wildlife are still unclear. This incident has been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history, causing the government of Brazil to consider a $5.2B fine to Vale-BHP as initial environmental cleanup mitigation.

Pond Water Pumps

Drawdown capability through emergency pumping can help to mitigate the hydraulic pressure on dams and divert water prior to overtopping events.

The GATOR Pump portable design allows rapid tactical positioning at key impact points around dams and pond perimeters to re-direct damaging flows that might weaken or accelerate dam failure.

 GATOR Pumps easily withstand decades of heavy use in the harshest pumping environments, even in mining tailwater runoff containment and cleanup as well as pond dewatering.

The GATOR Pump solid steel impeller design can also be used in fixed or floating vertical applications and can be powered by tractor pto, electric motor or direct mount diesel engines.

GATOR PUMP, the long-time leader in reliable centrifugal trailer pumps with flows of up to 18,000 gpm, has been providing mobile emergency water by-pass pumping for the past 40 years. We easily pump high density oilfield drill mud and can agitate, slurry and pump heavy pit solids, all without any suction piping, check valves, or priming.


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