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El Paso county commissions water quality study and dredging for Ascarate Lake as part of ‘Park Master Plan’

Posted on November 27, 2023

El Paso County Commissioners approved a plan to study and drain Ascarate Lake.

The renovation to Ascarate Park is part of a “Park Master Plan” of renovations and improvements toward parks within El Paso.

The master plan was crafted by the county in 2021 for county-owned parks and sports facilities.

The county partnered with an engineering firm, AECOM, to study the quality of water at Ascarate Lake and the best way to drain and dredge this body of water.

The county will pay AECOM $93,000 to conduct the study of the quality of water within the lake, which was approved and set aside funding by the county in May 2022.

The lake has had deadly algae blooms which plagued the fish population of the 48-acre area of the lake.

The study of the quality of the water will begin in January and should be finished by the end of January.

Based on the results of the study, El Paso County will partner with a contractor and pay them between $6 million to $7 million to dredge up sediment, trash, and plant debris from the lake and duck pond.

The funds for the dredging and clean-up of the lake come from money previously borrowed for the use of capital projects.

Dredging of the lake and duck pond won’t start until after the study of the quality of water is complete.

The plan includes the duck pond remaining open and stocked with fish while the lake is closed during the first steps toward renovation.

The duck pond will later be dredged after the lake is reopened from renovations.

Renovations have not been approved by the commissioners’ court until next year and once funds for the renovation are approved.

County Commissioner David Stout, who represents the area says that renovations once approved would take a matter of months until the lake can be reopened again.

Stout hopes the renovations of the lake and duck pond will be done by the end of next year or by the beginning of Fall 2025.

Ascarate Lake was man-made 83 years ago within the park’s 400-acre land.


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