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The Suburbanite
  • Portage Lakes dredging ensures easier navigation

  • The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will conclude their dredging work along with maintenance on storm water catches before leaving the area.

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  • This year’s dredging project is nearing completion at the southern end of the Portage Lakes chain.
    The dredge operates similar to a huge vacuum cleaner that agitates the floor of the lake. It has the capacity to pump 3,000 gallons of water and sediment a minute through a network of underwater hoses connected to the dredge.
    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will conclude their dredging work along with maintenance on storm water catches before leaving the area.
    The project aids in ensuring safe navigation and enhances recreational boating for all at Portage Lakes.
    PLANNING STAGES
    Several years ago, Lakefront homeowner Tom Fry approached the City of Green with a dredging proposal for Mud Lake, Swigart Pond and a portion of Turkeyfoot Lake. He learned the city was not the proper authority to grant permission.
    It wasn't until he attended a Portage Lakes Kiwanis meeting that his proposal found backing. Bruce Carpenter, who at the time served as Portage Lakes State Park manager, announced at the meeting that the dredge would come to the Portage Lakes and requested information about lakes needed dredging. Fry pitched his proposal during a meeting with Carpenter and others that could be instrumental in moving the project forward.
    Fry also invited Polly and Joe Chase to discuss the possibility of using their South Main Street farm as the relocation site – catch basin – for sediment and silt dredged from the lakes.
    The Chases agreed that their private property could be used for the project.
    “This will be for the good of the community, my neighbors and the Portage Lakes," Polly Chase told Fry.
    PREPARING THE BASIN
    The initial step was to prepare the basin. Bulldozers moved volumes of soil to create a 30-foot dredge basin that could contain approximately 45,000 cubic yards of water and sediment.
    Once filled, the basin will be allowed to slowly drain, the water being returned to the lakes through a gate built into the side of the basin. It can be opened to slowly release water into a long ditch that drains back in the lake.  Rocks lining the ditch help to prevent erosion.
    After one year and two winter freezes the basin area can be returned to its original state.