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City of Arvada restoring Lake Arbor

Posted on March 22, 2023

There’s been a sometimes-smelly problem in one Arvada neighborhood.

The city is currently restoring Lake Arbor, which is located inside a mostly-residential community in the eastern part of the city. The city says the project has two goals for this multi-million dollar project:

  1. Improve public safety by stabilizing the banks
  2. Improve water quality and remove unpleasant odors

“The safety of all the trails around the shoreline, adjacent to the lake itself, there’s been a lot of significant erosion over the years that’s been slowly threatening the safety of those trails,” said Sam Rogers, a city engineer who serves as the drainage project manager for this project. “There’s been some concern in recent years of blue green algae blooms that have surfaced. We’re looking to improve the water quality of the lake, as a whole.”

Neighbors have complained about the occasional smell around the lake, too.

“The smell issue has mostly been related to the blue green algae blooms that we’ve been seeing,” Rogers said.

The city has already drained the water by several feet and will be dredging parts of the lake. Rogers said the project includes adding new wetland plants around the lake to help with nutrients, and stormwater runoff. And the city plans to add subsurface aerators.

“Those can help produce a lot more oxygen and that can improve the health of the fish and surrounding vegetation,” he said. “Right now, they’re dredging out accumulated sediment, chemicals and other nasty stuff that’s accumulated over the years and really just trying to clean that up and ensure this will be a more preserved and better-looking habitat.”

The city worked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to move thousands of fish out of the lake, and to protect the wildlife that still lives there during restoration work.

Rogers said the city expects most of the construction will be finished by this summer, with more wetland planting and vegetation improvements scheduled for next year.


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