December 9, 2017
by Susan Enos
Comments Off on FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HYDRO-DREDGING
Many homeowners have suggested that dredging is an obvious solution for improving the health of the lake. This project endeavors to determine what can be done and what the impact will be.
A group of homeowners came together to explore dredging their lakefront/cove on the north end of the lake. Cliff Munz led the initiative and reached out to TLPOA and TEA to cooperate with the lake associations and lake management program.
A steering committee was established with representatives from TLPOA, TEA and unaffiliated homeowners to investigate the benefits and costs of dredging. The current members are as follows:
Taka Andrews, Vreeland Cove
Rob Cummings, TEA President
Dave Douglas, north end
Sue Enos, north end
Lara Gorton, TLPOA lake manager
Steve Macaluso, south end
Cliff and Lucille Munz, east side
Laura Sanchick, east side
David Sach, TLPOA President
The following questions were generated from the TRUESDALELAKE.COM website and other sources. The HDIG has provided answers to some of the questions below. We will continue to update lake residents as we learn more.
WHAT IS HYDRO-DREDGING?
Removing sediment from the lake bottom using a suction process and depositing it in appropriate locations around the lake
Quite literally ‘sucking the muck’
Optimally, we would use the dried sediment as top-soil rather than the costly alternative of trucking it off-site
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Dredging would materially improve access to and enjoyment of the lake in shallow, silted-in areas
It would help to maintain property values for everyone in the lake community
Dredging the TLPOA and TEA beaches would improve enjoyment of those common areas
HOW DOES DREDGING FIT INTO THE LAKE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM?
Dredging is not a “silver bullet.”
Dredging would not replace regular lake management for weeds or algae but would be supplemental to other best practices like shoreline planting, septic maintenance, eliminating lawn fertilization, etc.
The overall ecosystem in Truesdale Lake will not change dramatically and will still be affected by weather, periods of extreme heat, lack of rain, nutrient load from the watershed and other contributing factors
Improvement of points of ingress to mitigate sources of sediment is equally important to overall lake health, i.e. paving Boway, the East of Hudson project improvements uphill from TEA beach, maintaining catch basins and storm drains, etc.
Dredging will be considered relative to alternative remediation techniques, including partial draining of the lake. This would enable natural compaction of the silt during the winter (freeze the weed seeds) or dry excavation of the accumulated sediment.
WHY SHOULD EVERYONE IN THE LAKE COMMUNITY CARE?
Property values are directly impacted by the health and appearance of the lake
There is widespread interest in determining if dredging is a viable solution to lake improvement
Improved access to the lake means more enjoyable experience swimming, kayaking, fishing & entertaining
WHY NOW? (need meets readiness)?
Community interest in lake management is at an all-time high due to extreme conditions of the last few years
Lake homeowners among the broader lake community have expressed interest and contributed to exploring the possibility of dredging
WHERE IS DREDGING NEEDED?
The object of this project is to determine where dredging could be most effective and provide cost/benefit analysis
Sediment collects in certain areas like inlets, coves and particularly the south end of the lake where there’s not a lot of water flow or current to move it out, causing those areas to be more shallow, weedy and collect algae.
Initial conclusions are that targeted dredging would improve lake access and enjoyment of the lake but that significant dredging to deepen the overall lake would be required to materially change lake conditions and would raise additional constraints and prohibitive costs
WHAT IS OUR PLAN?
Phase 1 – Schematic Design
Project scope & phasing alternatives
Sediment storage alternatives
Alternative financing options
Phase 2 – Design Development
Specific permitting requirements
Environment mitigation plan
Refined project plan (phasing)
Refined cost estimates & financing options
Phase 3 – Required Permitting
Answers to all stakeholder questions
Go / no go decision
Phase 4 – Dredging Planning
Phase 5 – Dredging
PHASE 1 IS UNDERWAY WITH A CIVIL ENGINEER TO DETERMINE SCOPE, FEASIBILITY AND POSSIBLE SITES FOR DREDGING
WHO IS GOING TO PAY?
Funds for the initial scope analysis in Phase 1 were collected from interested homeowners after the last public meeting
Recommendations from Phase 1 are expected to determine scope and estimates of further funding that will be required
Truesdale is a private lake and as such, there is no public funding available. Grants require municipal fund matching that has not been available to Truesdale in the past
WHAT IS NEXT?
Schedule a public meeting in January/February to review conclusions from Phase 1 analysis with Kate Throckmorton from Environmental Land Solutions, James Gorman from Pond and Lake Connections who has been contracted to provide lake treatment in 2018, and the HDIG.
Explore alternatives as a part of the long-term lake management plan, i.e. modify the outflow of the dam to regularly lower the lake level in winter. The replacement of a gated by-pass drain near the dam or a siphoning system would probably be necessary in order to lower the lake enough in winter to expose and freeze a significant amount of the shoreline sediment. ELS is in the process of getting an estimate of costs for engineering, permitting and installing a drain. We will also explore the possibility of “dry removing” sediment from areas around the lake shore. We will continue to keep everyone informed about this alternative when we find out whether it is feasible and how much it would cost.
Work with the town to keep the lake drains and settling ponds clear so that future sediment going into the lake is reduced.
Explore alternative ways of removing algae accumulation during the summer.
HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?
Learn about the project ( read other informative posts www.Truesdalelake.com)
Raise questions, be open to listen to responses, advocate with the Town, consider participation in funding
Contact anyone in the HDIG with questions, comments or interest