First phase of dredging at John Redmond Reservoir now complete

The Kansas Water Office announced last week that the first phase of dredging at John Redmond Reservoir is complete.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock began dredging operations this past May. The project, projected to cost $20 million, is the first of its kind in the nation with a non-federal entity dredging sediment from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir.
Three million cubic yards of sediment were removed from the reservoir and placed in confined disposal facilities on USACE land and private property. The disposal sites will be returned to the preferred use of the respective landowners after dewatering.
“In 2012, we started the planning process to conduct this large-scale dredging project to restore water supply storage at John Red­mond,” said Tracy Streeter, KWO director.
This project was vital for the area; the reservoir is a supply source to 19 communities and six industrial users, including Wolf Creek Nuclear Opera­ting Station.
“The removal of sediment has helped to ensure an adequate water supply to meet our citizens’ demand in the future,” Streeter said.
A year ago, at a Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commis­sion meeting in Burlington, Earl Lewis, of the KWO, said the lake had lost about 40 percent of its storage capacity because of silting.
“Unfortunately, past drought has shown the removal of 3 million yards will not solve all of the problems with the aging reservoir to help restore water supply storage lost to sedimentation,” Streeter said.
“Additional work in the watershed above John Red­mond to reduce the sedimentation rate, evaluation of other waters supplies as well as future restoration work to remove sediment within the reservoir is still necessary to ensure future water supply demand is met through the year 2045 in the Neosho River basin.”
More information and details about the project will be shared at the Governor’s Water Confer­ence Nov. 14-15 in Manhat­tan, including a panel discussion involving project officials.
For additional information on the dredging project or the upcoming conference, visit kwo.org.

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