Fountain Lake Dredging

The dredging of Fountain Lake may begin late next summer, according to Shell Rock River Watershed District officials.

Director of Field Operations Andy Henschel said the timeline will depend on how quickly permits are secured and other technical details are formed.

The district is working on a letter of intent to purchase a farm field within three miles of

Fountain Lake owned by local farmer Richard Stadheim in connection with the dredging project.

The district is looking at constructing a confined disposal facility on the site. A CDF is a dewatering site in the dredging process. When dredging takes place, there will be a mixture of water and sediment pumped to the disposal facility, and the CDF will be used to settle the sediment and siphon off the water.

The district expects the facility to be used to manage contaminated sediments. An embankment will go around the perimeter of the CDF. The soil on the land will be used to build the embankment where the water and sedimentation will be stored.

Shell Rock River Watershed District Administrator Brett Behnke said completion of the purchase agreement will allow the district to start with some of the technical work on the property and allow the district to conduct due diligence on the site itself and other cooperative agencies to confirm the site's feasibility.

Behnke said the district plans on having the purchase agreement in place by March 1. The district will then seek professional services for the design of the confined disposal facility.

"It's a huge piece of the puzzle and you will see reduced nutrient loading and water quality benefits," Behnke said of the dredging project. He said the district intends to solicit local contractors for the use of the district's dredge, as well as other contractors in the industry.

The project is expected to cost $15 million-a fraction of that is expected to be for the dredging itself Approximately $2.06 million is budgeted for dredging elements in 2016 budget, with $1 million specifically for Fountain Lake land pursuits.

Other items included in the dredging elements budget include: Administrative technician reimbursement: $115,400 Contracting work on Fountain Lake: $900,000 Equipment: $10,040 Miscellaneous, outreach: $8,500.

The amount is approximately one-third of the district's overall $6.3 million non-property tax budget.The project was included in the district's 10-year water management plan that was approved Wednesday by the Board of Water and Soil Resources, according to a press release.

© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007