Dredging a lake takes time and proper planning. Prior to initiating a project, it is important to examine all dredging options available, costs, and goals to be achieved through dredging. You will want to make sure that there is funding available to successfully plan and execute the project as well as cover any potential additional costs.
Most lakes are fed by runoff from streams or rivers that may contain materials contaminated with pollutants and numerous types of minerals. These materials may be harmful for the overall health of a lake and can impact recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. Over time, materials such as nutrient concentrated silt can overwhelm a lake, allowing substantial vegetation and algae blooms to grow.
Dredging can assist with preventing vegetation growth or algae blooms — in some cases by dredging may contribute to reversing the process by improving the overall water quality. Dredging can add depth to a lake, creating space for fish and eliminating cramped oxygen-deprived conditions. Having deeper areas of water is particularly beneficial to fish that inhabit lakes that freeze over during the winter. Materials, such as sand, that have been dredged from a lake can also be reused to replenish beaches or for nearby restoration projects.
Do you belong to a homeowner’s association (HOAs) or a municipality that is considering investing in a lake dredging maintenance program? Lake dredging programs preserve the overall health, safety, water quality, and navigability of a lake. Some decision-makers view the upfront cost of such programs as being far too expensive to fund instead of seeing dredging as a beneficial long-term solution.
Many HOAs once dependent upon local government funding have established their own non-profit organizations and special tax districts to self-fund future lake dredging projects. Municipalities who support lake dredging programs can also benefit from future tax revenue as a result of improved lake conditions that accommodate leisure activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. A properly maintained lake will attract visitors who are willing to spend more time on and near the lake providing a boost to the local economy.
A lake dredging project can be expensive. It is vitally important to be prepared for the associated costs including*:
*This list of anticipated expenses is by no means a complete list of all costs associated with a dredging project.
The guidelines for obtaining a lake dredging permit vary depending upon where the project is located. For additional information, we recommend contacting your local city, county, or state government for further details.