Similar to the aquatic wildlife that inhabits the water, lakes also have a life cycle. Over time, plants and fish die off and grow again. Water levels rise and fall. While all of these changes are natural, sediment build up is one that can have a dramatic impact upon the health of a lake. Sediment naturally accumulates on the floor of a lake as debris breaks down, but having too much can turn a lake into a murky, smelly mess. Lake dredging removes the sediment and improves the overall water quality.
Watch for the Signs of an Aging or Unhealthy Lake
Since the sediment is at the bottom of the lake, you likely won’t notice it building up. Instead, you might notice that the water level doesn’t seem as deep as it once was, or the lake may seem narrower due to build up along the shoreline. Algae blooms are also common in lakes that need dredging since the sediment holds nutrients that feed the unwanted organisms. Too much algae can cause the fish and plants to die off, which can lead to a noxious odor developing.
Know What to Expect During Lake Dredging
Dredging simply involves using a special machine called a dredge to remove the sediment from the lake floor and along the sides where it is needed. Hydraulic and mechanical dredging are the two main types that lake dredging companies in Florida use to maintain and restore large bodies of water. Hydraulic dredging involves using a submerged pump that sucks up the debris and transports it to a tube that runs to the surface. Once there, the debris is placed into a truck and disposed of according to federal, state and local environmental guidelines.
Mechanical dredges use buckets that scrape the lake floor to collect the sediment. As with hydraulic dredging, the unwanted debris is put into trucks and transported away from the lake for proper disposal. Mechanical dredging also works well for clearing away larger debris such as unwanted plants.
Understand the Benefits of Dredging
Lake dredging improves the health and appearance of the water in several important ways. Pulling up the excess sediment helps to remove trash, sewage contamination and other pollutants. Doing so creates a healthier environment that discourages the growth of algae and unwanted plants. You’ll also notice that dredged lakes tend to be deeper and less prone to flooding. In addition to improving lake health, you can also use dredging to reconfigure or create waterways. Dredging may also be recommended if you plan to install features such as a pier or dock at the lake.
Using lake management strategies such as shoreline erosion control helps to keep sediment from building up, but eventually there comes a point where you’ll need to take action. Dredging can be done as a preventative measure on a regular basis, or you can arrange for the service to restore a lake that is being threatened by contamination. In either case, proper lake management beautifies the environment and preserves aquatic ecosystems.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.