|The Dredging Feasibility Study
Dredging is the removal of accumulated lake bottom sediments ("muck"). The decision to dredge should be based on sufficient study that shows accumulated sediment is having an adverse impact on water quality, recreation, or navigation. This decision process includes defining what you want to use the lake for (such as recreation or water supply) and how you'd like the lake to appear (water quality), and then determining if lake sediment is affecting these factors. If so, the study should compare alternatives to dredging to see if sediment removal is indeed the most cost-effective solution.
The study should identify the sources of the sediment coming into the lake and calculate how much sediment has accumulated. Sediment sources from the watershed (such as from construction sites, eroding streambanks and shorelines, urban and agricultural runoff) should be controlled. Dredging is too expensive to do repeatedly!
Sometimes it is necessary to employ the services of an experienced professional to conduct a dredging feasibility study and help determine if dredging is the most practical alternative. Engineering data and design are almost always needed. The sediment's chemical composition must be tested to determine if contaminants are present. Disposal sites for the dredged sediment must be identified, costs must be calculated, bids must be let . . . as you can see, there are many aspects to the dredging decision. This Lake Notes publication is designed to give you the background to help make that decision.