Over the 10th and 11th of June 2009 a workshop was held in Hanoi, Vietnam with a focus on restoring urban lakes in Vietnam. Much of the emphasis was on Hoan Kiem Lake where the legendary Hoan Kiem Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) resides, with increasing sediment in this lake the Hanoi peoples committee is keen to remove some of the sludge but are concern about the possible risks to the turtle.
As such Dresden University of Technology has been working with the peoples committee to develop new techniques to more safely remove sediment from the lake. The most impressive of which is the aptly named sediturtle, a dredging machine that will crawl across the bottom of the lake removing sediment by suction to a large press and water purification system. Trials of the sediturtle were made during the workshop in Ho Chi Minh’s fish pond next to his old residence in the grounds of the mausoleum and it will be left in Hanoi for further trials before any decision is made on whether the technique will be used on Hoan Kiem Lake.
By: Tim McCormack Asian Turtle Program, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
15th October 2009