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Dredging of Lake Decatur Nearly 40% Complete

Posted on August 1, 2016

By Kathleen Cohen, wandTV

The dredging project in Lake Decatur is nearly half way done.

The Decatur Lake Maintenance Supervisor, Joe Nihiser, tells WAND News Lake Decatur is more of a water resource than a recreational lake. That’s why the $91 million dredging project is so important.

Nihiser has been working for Decatur Lake Management for over 30 years. He says the dredging project is one of the biggest projects he’s overseen, saying, “I think it’s going exceptionally well. They’re progressing rather quickly.”

Jerry Stevens, the Decatur Engineering Services Coordinator, says dredging is nearly 40% complete. The dredge finished the Big Creek Basin and is now working on Basin 2, the busiest basin in terms of boaters.

“It’s on schedule and we’ve claimed back 19 days of water supply,” explains Stevens, “That was the whole objective of the project, to get an additional water supply in case of a drought situation.”

There is an increased security concern as the dredge works in areas often used by boaters. Boaters must stay 150 feet away from the dredge and be cautious of the discharge line.

“They should always make sure they’re addressing the safety concerns for boating, as well as any pipelines or obstacles that could be out there as far as the water craft, pontoon, or dredge itself,” says Nihiser.

Stevens says the contractor does a very good job of putting out buoys and markers so that boaters know where to go.

Nihiser says while he’s excited about the project, the community has had a mixed response.

“We’ve received some calls about an inconvenience because of the pipeline, but we, as citizens, have to keep in mind it’s for all of us. This is our water resource,” explains Nihiser.

Two smaller dredges are in the process of being built in the Sand Creek Basin. They will start collecting sediment from the bottom of Lake Decatur by the end of August.

When the project is complete in 2019, Decatur will gain back 52 days of water supply.

Source: WANDTV

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