Dredging of Rainbow Lake wins wetlands board’s approval

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Photo: Macklin Reid / Hearst Connecticut Media

Posted October 5, 2020

Dredging plans have been approved for three areas of Rainbow Lake, which has long had problems with the growth of weeds and algae.

Suction dredging at three locations in 42-acre Rainbow Lake has been approved by the town Inland Wetlands Board.

The Ridgefield Lakes Association won approval for plans to remove muck and leaves from the lake in three areas, then “de-water” the material pulled from the lake at three nearby locations — 65 Crescent Drive, the Ridgefield Lakes Association Beach, and 247 Mountain Road.

Approximately 500 cubic yards of sediment will be removed from the lake, which will be reduced to about 200-250 cubic yards of sediment to remain on the three sites after the dewatering is completed.

“My expectation is each piece the suction dredging takes place completely in each of the three areas,” Wetlands board Chairwoman Pat Sesto said. “When you enter an area you dredge and that area is completed.”

“That’s a great plan,” said Ridgefield Lakes Association President Doug Carroll. “And that’s what we intend to do.”

There could be difficulties, of course.

“If we get into summer and we haven’t finished an area, our lake treatment company doesn’t want us dredging in the summer, so we’d pause.”

Carroll told the wetlands board that the near term plan is to do the dredging in the Crescent Drive area, and the other sites might be done later — but the association wanted to get a permit that covered the dredging in all three areas.

“We have to raise money,” he said.

The plans approved include detailed protections for the lake’s water quality, including a “turbidity curtain” that would surround the area being dredged, and erosion and sedimentation controls for on-shore areas where the material removed would be dried out.

Raising money for the project is a significant obstacle for the association, which is a private homeowner group that relies on dues and voluntary contributions.

The application was approved 6-0 at the wetlands board’s Sept. 10 meeting on a motion by Alan Pilch, seconded by Tracey Miller. Dave Tatge, who lives in the Ridgefield Lakes area, recused himself from the proceedings.

Source: theridgefieldpress