- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Workers are dredging in Council Bluffs’ Lake Manawa for the first time in decades as part of an effort to improve its water clarity and eliminate algae blooms.

A dredging barge is slowly making its way across the 715-acre lake, removing sand from the lake bottom, according to the Daily Nonpareil (https://bit.ly/295CkHm ). Crews are concentrating on a 60-acre area, where they want to increase depths to a maximum of 16 feet deep.

The lake now has a maximum depth of 12 feet with large areas only 6 or 7 feet deep.

“Our goal is to make the lake deeper, with the ultimate goal to improve water quality,” said Bryan Hayes, a fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

It’s the first dredging of Lake Manawa since 1982, which followed extensive dredging in the 1960s. The work will cost $4.2 million, paid from a statewide lake restoration fund.

The work is being done by the JF Brennan Co. of La Crosse, Wisconsin, which began setting up its equipment in March and started dredging in April. The work should be finished by mid-July.

Dredging is one step toward improving the lake, but Hayes said other efforts will be made in the coming years to improve the water clarity and rid the lake of algae.

“After this dredging, we’ll evaluate how it went and move on to the next project,” Hayes said. ‘Over the next 10 years we hope to implement more projects. To get to where we want to, it’ll take that long.”

The company doing the work plans to remove 500,000 cubic yards of sand from the lake bottom. The state plans to provide the sand for use in construction projects.


Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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