The fireworks display is scheduled for the evening of June 30th. As an added safety feature, we will be using buoys to create a safe buffer zone between the launch site and the boaters. The buoys will be positioned across the lake from the east side to the west side of the lake. A “safe pass” corridor along the west shore of the lake will allow boaters to pass from one end of the lake to the other. The buoys will be installed the afternoon of the fireworks (June 30th) and removed the next day (July 1st). Thanks for the help and suggestions of Carol Delli, Bruce Bower and Ed Koziol for their ideas and input.
On Tuesday, 5/21/2012, five members of the Board of Directors and two committee members visited Grand Lake St Marys in western Ohio to learn more about how they are dredging their lake. GLSM is larger than our lake – about 17,500 acres vs. our lake at 500 acres. It is surrounded by farmlands, much the same as our lake and suffers the same kind of problems( but to a larger degree): Algae, water turbidity, and major siltation problems.
We met with Tom A. Grabow, Regional Dredge Supervisor, Canal Lakes Region of the ODNR. He is responsible for approximately 13 individual dredges in the western part of Ohio, with three operating dredges in Grand Lake St Marys. He told us his actual dredging costs : approximately $2.00/ cubic yard of sludge removed from the lake. I had estimated our expected costs to be around $5.00 per cubic yard. He then discussed mechanical dredging costs and told us to expect over $10.00 per cubic yard if we went in that direction. He confirmed the Board’s choice of using hydraulic dredging as the most economical approach to lake cleanup.
We then visited the actual dredging site where a dredger was operating in a very narrow cove in close proximity to a residential area. The dredge we watched was slightly larger than what we had planned to purchase. We were about 30 feet from the operating dredge and it was about as loud as a small lawn mower. We were absolutely astounded at how quiet it was! It is quieter than some of the motorboats we now have on our lake.
We then visited the DMRA (Dredge Material Relocation Area). We were less than 10 feet from the end of the 10” discharge pipe….close enough to get splashed by some of the spray from the pipe. THERE WAS VERY LITTLE ODOR from the sludge discharge pipe and NO ODOR coming from the DMRA. This DMRA was located about 200 yards from a residential area.
We learned things that will definitely save us a considerable amount of capital dollars on the dredging project. During the next few weeks, I will be working on a new cost estimate for the dredging project and I will share it with you when I have completed it.
The Board members invited Tom Grabow to visit Lake Roaming Rock and lead a discussion about his dredging experience. He indicated that he would be happy to do that and indicated he would visit us in about a month. I will keep all of you informed about the time and location of that meeting.
I would like to discuss with you my thoughts of a siphon system. You may remember I was the committee chairman of the siphon committee two or three years ago. We had a quote at that time for 300 to 500 thousand dollars for such a system. The committee made significant changes to enhance the proposed siphon system including the following: a two pipe system to be used to blend the anoxic deep water with the surface water to remove as much of the anoxic water as we could from the lake without violating EPA guidelines, a lake level operated siphon valve to maximize the flow of water through the siphon system, and a “branched” end for the siphon pipes to eliminate logs and other debris from entering the system and rendering it inoperative.
It was obvious then and it still is today, that the main function of the siphon system would be to assist in controlling the lake level during periods of high rainfall. It also had some side benefits of removing some anoxic water, some phosphorus, and improving the dissolved oxygen levels in the lake.
The main problem with the siphon system is that it would only operate intermittently and almost never in the summer. When it is operating, the improvements in the turbidity and oxygen levels, and the subsequent reduction of the anoxic water would only be realized in a very localized area near the dam. It would have no overall effect on these levels the farther one gets away from the dam. It would almost certainly have no effect at the south end of the lake and in the coves.
In my mind and the majority of the board’s minds, the siphon system’s priority always came below the priority of the lake dredging. It’s not that the board is against the siphon system. It’s a matter of priorities. The project with the biggest benefit to our lake gets the highest priority. That’s as it should be. Dredging will improve the whole lake, that why it has the higher priority. That’s why I continue to support the dredging project.
Barry O’Connell, President
RRA Board of Directors.