Marine Construction and Noise Pollution: Questions to Consider
When sounds are made underwater, the water amplifies the sound waves, causing the noises to be louder and long lasting. This increases the effect that the sounds have on marine life. The noises can lead to hearing loss or other issues. For instance, noises interrupt the communication signals of baleen whales. In some cases, excess sound can even kill fish, mammals and seabirds.
If you want to protect marine life, you need to take these elements into account when hiring a marine contractors. Here are some questions to ask as you talk with different contractors.
Do You Do Computer Simulations?
To limit the impact of noise on marine life, some companies start with computer simulations. They can do simulations to see how their noises are likely to affect animals during different times of the year. They can also do simulations that help them identify issues in their building design. Then, they can adjust their approach before they start working. This helps to eliminate mistakes and unnecessary construction noise.
Do They Use Noise Reducing Technology?
Most marine construction projects including bridges, docks, buildings and more, require the company to put in rods or piles. Driving long rods into the seabed can be a noisy process, but many contractors and researchers have been looking for ways to make this job quieter.
For instance, the CoMotion team at the University of Washington developed an approach where you encase the pile inside another rod. Then, the air between the two components insulates some of the noise, preventing it from going out into the water. They also use innovations such as springs and driving shoes. You may want to ask the company you hire if they use similar approaches.
How Much Noise Do You Make?
A lot of marine contractors actually track how much noise their equipment generates. If you want to keep the sounds low, you may want to ask about this. The contractors should be able to tell you the decibels issued by their equipment and how that compares to dangerous levels.
Do You Go Above and Beyond Legal Regulations?
There are national and international regulations designed to keep noises low, but some analysts believe these regulations don't go far enough. As you interview different marine contractors, make sure that they are following the rules, but beyond that, you may want to ensure that they are going above and beyond the requirements.
Do You Offer Modular Components?
Modular building is becoming a growing trend in marine construction. This involves making parts off site, and then bringing them in for installation. For instance, you can make large docks in pieces. This helps to reduce the amount of noise at the work site, and in many cases, it also speeds up the process.
To learn more, contact a company that offers commercial marine contractors directly. They can answer your questions about noises, costs, designs and any other concerns you may have.