Marshall lake gets fall makeover

Friday, November 21, 2008
Brad Spray, a Commodore Marine Services Inc. employee, measures the depth of Town and Country Lake during dredging operations this fall. (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

The dredging of Town and Country Lake, needed because of buildup of mud, was completed Friday, Nov. 14.

"It's the years of sludge coming into the lake," said Jim Lewis, owner of a home near the lake. "It's been needed for years."

Setup for the project began Aug. 4, and dredging began the next week.

The dredging boat is able to move between 300 and 3,000 gallons of water per minute, depending on the amount of solids passing through the tubing, said Russell Cissell, owner of Commodore Marine Services Inc. based in Portage des Sioux.

The pipe connected to the dredging boat spews out muddy water into a berm constructed nearby. The mud has collected into a small peninsula jutting out into the water. The small rocks near the pipe's mouth are from the lake's bed. (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

A tube coming off the dredging boat moved the water to a series of 40-foot pipes. These pipes transported the water into a nearby berm, which resembles a man-made lake approximately 15 feet deep. The mud collected near the pipe's opening, accumulating to a level above the water's surface.

The water, free of mud, spilled out through pipes and down into a storm drain. Bill Anderson of Marshall Municipal Services said the drain leads to a stream that is a tributary of Finney Creek.

Joe Sexton, employee of Commodore, said while it would have been possible to pump the water back into the lake, that would have required an additional employee to operate that pump continuously, something for which neither Cissel nor the Town and Country Lake Association was interested in paying. Instead, rain is being counted on to refill the lake.

Because the dredger can only move forward and backward, a system of floaters was used to mark where it had been. After dredging was completed in one area, the dredger was moved about eight feet from its previous route before it again moved across the lake.

The Town and Country Lake Association raised funds amounting to $75,000 from those with property on or near the lake to pay for the dredging.

Contact Geoff Rands at marshallreporter@socket.net

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