Dredging planned for Evergreen Lake in the spring

Evergreen Colorado Flooding September 2013 via Business Insider
Evergreen Colorado Flooding September 2013 via Business Insider

From the Canyon Courier (Beth Potter):

Officials are planning to dredge Evergreen Lake in the spring to clean out sediment brought in by the September 2013 flooding.

The “stealth” dredging project will be done with a pontoon boat to minimize the impacts on lake users, said Dave Lighthart, general manager of the Evergreen Metropolitan District.

Sediment material will be pumped from the boat through a pipe to a “de-watering” operation that will separate the water from the sediment. The water will be treated before being put back into the lake, Lighthart said.

“We’re trying to be as unobtrusive possible,” Lighthart said. “The lake is pretty visible and used for recreation, so we don’t have that ability to isolate and drain it.”

The project is expected to take a little longer and cost a little more than it would otherwise, because of its unobtrusive nature, Lighthart said. But the lake also serves as Evergreen’s raw drinking water source, which means the water can’t be pumped out, he said.

Some $880,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds and state funds will pay for the project. An estimated 12,000 cubic yards of sediment were deposited in the lake during the 2013 flooding, Lighthart said.

The sediment will help with cleanup of the EDS Waste Solutions Inc. site on Highway 73. The 549-acre site is owned by the city and county of Denver, which plans to get the land back to its natural park-like state over a two-year period, said Bob Finch, natural resources director at Denver Mountain Parks, a division of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department.

“(This) helps them, and it certainly helps us,” Lighthart said of the plan to take the sediment to the landfill site.

Dredging work is expected to start in late March or early April after ice has melted off the lake, Lighthart said. It’s expected to take place near the south side of the “islands,” he said, where a survey showed most of the sediment was deposited during the flooding. Government funds must be spent by June 2016, he said.

More Bear Creek watershed coverage here.

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