Plant Requirements

The use of DQM on USACE Civil Works and Permit projects has been mandated for hopper dredges and scows, for pipeline dredges working unrestricted Corps contracts, and will eventually include mechanical dredges, as well. DQM specifications spell out the general requirements for each plant type, but additional guidance on individual aspects of compliance can be found for QA checks and Certifications and for data transmissions and contractor and district personnel responsibilities.

DQM Specifications

In order to standardize the data collection requirements, the DQM Support Center has written specifications applicable to each plant type. DQM specifications define minimum performance requirements for instrumentation to collect and transmit dredging data to the central USACE database located in Mobile, AL. In general, DQM contract specifications are totally performance based and are to be included as an additional section in the dredging specification. The specifications include details related to the following topics:

  • Certification requirements
  • Contractor-provided sensor and data requirements
  • Contractor-provided computer equipment
  • Data-reporting interface requirements
  • Quality assurance check descriptions and requirements (pre-dredging and during dredging)
  • Table of contractor-specific deliverables
  • Data format examples and related definitions

The latest version of the Guide Specifications, (updated FY 2020), contained the following changes:

  • The Scow Tracking Profile was eliminated (it did not give enough information to accurately identify dredge state when using a geofence to determine the disposal event) and certain clarifications necessitated by confusion identified over time.
  • The requirement to submit of a copy of the Dredge Plant Instrumentation Plan (DPIP) was removed as it is verified and accepted as part of the annual certification process.
  • The end-of-contract procedure to verify that all data has been received/archived was modified to better define the role of the DQM Support Center in accepting the received data.
  • Some sections that referenced information available on the DQM website (DPIP format and QA check procedures, for example) were deleted. 

Three specification formats are available for each plant type/profile—Word and SpecsIntact versions for Civil Works contracts and a Word version modified for inclusion in Regulatory permit requirements, which references permitee rather than contractor and removes reference to enforcement mechanisms.  It is only necessary to include the specifications for the plant(s) that are expected be used. SpecsIntact versions are available as part of the Dredging Guide Specifications located on the WBDG website.

Certifications/QA Checks

Certification indicates that the dredge plant is equipped with instrumentation that meets the minimum standards for data collection for the DQM Program; that the contractor has demonstrated that personnel are available with the expertise to maintain the instrumentation; that the contractor has the equipment to calibrate the required sensors and transmit data; and that the contractor has documented pertinent information regarding the specified instrumentation system.

Certifications are coordinated by the contractor directly with the DQM Support Team and local authorities according to the SOP Annual QA Checks and Certification.

Certifications are based on an on-site inspection by DQM support Team Personnel consisting of the following:

  • A series of data quality checks reflective of plant type
  • Verification of data acquisition and transfer
  • Review of the Dredge Plant Instrumentation Plan (DPIP)

Certification is good for one year from the date of issuance; interim re-certification is required if there is any yard work which produces modification to displacement, hopper volume, or sensor type or location.

Plant Specific Requirements

Hopper Dredges

Pipeline Dredges






DQM Links