How to Dredge a Lake

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Eutrophication occurs when sediment such as rock, sand and mud begin to fill up a lake. This natural process interferes with lake transportation, reduces water quality and disrupts irrigation. If left unchecked, eutrophication can turn a lake into a swamp or erode surface water until areas that were once a part of the lake are filled with topsoil. Dredging inhibits this process by pumping water out of the bottom of a lake through a pipeline to a processing location and separating the water from the sediment.

  • Look for indicators that the lake needs to be dredged. Examples include boat motors becoming clogged with mud when in shallow water, a decrease in water clarity due to a build up of mud and sediment following heavy rains and clogged sprinkler heads or faucets due to sediment occupying areas of the lake that once contained water.

  • Meet with a surveyor to determine how much material will need to be dredged and the possible environmental impact associated with removing the sediment.

  • Apply for a Section 10 permit from the regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) office in your state. The form can be procured from the regional office or online at the USACE website.

  • Hire a dredging contractor to dredge the lake and remove the excess sediment. Ensure that the contractor is experience and capable of providing several references. The contractor should also be fully insured, have a quality processing and disposal site and have a good safety record

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