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Italian Lake undergoes dredging project to clean water

Posted on April 15, 2024

The cleaning of a Harrisburg landmark is underway.

On Wednesday, crews began a dredging project of the Italian Lake to clean the water. The City of Harrisburg hired workers from Ecological Solutions Incorporated to clean up sediment, debris, and trash from the bottom of the lake.

“Whenever we’re kicking all of that up and sucking everything out, you never know what you’re going to find,” said David Baker, the facilities director for the City of Harrisburg. “Sometimes there’s next to nothing, and it’s just organic material that runs in the lake. But other times you can find furniture, patio equipment, or bicycles.”

A barge will make its way across a quarter of the Italian Lake like a vacuum. Any material that is sucked up from the lake floor will be pumped into a giant biodegradable bag sitting next to the lake.

The goal of the project will be to not only clear the lake of any trash, but to clean up the sediment in order to improve biodiversity in the water.

“It’s making sure there’s enough oxygen for fish, amphibians, and birds to thrive here,” said Danielle Lewis, the sustainability coordinator for the City of Harrisburg.

Lewis adds the project is part of the city’s larger goal to keep the park clean so that the wildlife and visitors can enjoy it for years to come.

“It really plays into that bigger picture of not only the biology side, but of the recreational side in keeping Harrisburg beautiful,” said Lewis.

Italian Lake will not be closed during the dredging; however, people are being asked to avoid the area of the lake where the cleanup is happening. The project will take around 7-10 days to complete and cost the City of Harrisburg $27,300.


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