Dredging has now been completed at two of Columbia’s three man-made lakes, with work at the third expected to be done before the end of the year, according to Dennis Mattey, director of construction for the Columbia Association (CA).
The dredging of the 27-acre Lake Kittamaqundi began in October 2010 and ended in January 2012, removing approximately 47,000 yards of sediment, which equates to about 3,000 tri-axle dump trucks moving sediment to approved dump sites. Work at the 22-acre Wilde Lake began in April 2012 and wrapped up earlier this month, with more than 15,000 yards of sediment having been removed.
The dredging contractor, JND Thomas, is now in the process of moving its equipment from Wilde Lake to Lake Elkhorn.
While dredging at Lake Elkhorn begins, the cleanup effort at Wilde Lake will continue as crews work on reestablishing the grass field below the dam where a mechanical de-watering staging area had been located. Work on the grass field will take place over the next 60 days.
Dredging at the 37-acre Lake Elkhorn is set to start before the end of July, beginning in the forebay pond at the far northern end of the lake. Work is scheduled to be finished by December.
The pathways at Lake Elkhorn will remain open throughout the dredging process, and people will be able to access the park around the lake. However, the parking lot off of Broken Land Parkway will be closed for the duration of the project.
The dredging is done “to maintain the environmental and aesthetic value of the lakes,” Mattey explains. Sediment that has built up at the bottom of the lake can create conditions in which more aquatic vegetation grows, which can have a detrimental effect.
“Restoring the depth to the lake helps to maintain the environmental value of the lake as an aquatic habitat,” Mattey says. “And it looks better, too.”
For updates on the project, please visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/Dredging.