Celebration in Albert Lea kicks off dredging project

A dredge sits in Fountain Lake’s Edgewater Bay.  It’s part of a project meant to clear up sediment in the water.  

The Fountain Lake Restoration Project has been a long time coming.  A public celebration was held Wednesday afternoon at the Edgewater Bay Pavilion to let people in the community get to know more about what’s going on.  Preparations for dredging are underway and the contractor, J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. thinks the project will take about two years.

"Our biggest thing with our company is it’s environmental based," explains Site Manager Ryan Sands with Brennan, "So not only do we do these lake-deepening projects, but we’re also focused on environmental clean-up, so we’re very oriented in natural resources and the well-being of lakes, rivers and streams to make sure it’s a quality product for the public."

Officials with the Shell Rock Watershed District say the project will do a lot of positive things for the Albert Lea community.

"For those that don’t know, the phosphorus is a big issue for us because it creates algae bloom," explains Shell Rock River Water District Administrator Andy Henschel, "It’s what algae feed off and turns our lakes green.  So, that’s what we’re really trying to do is maintain good water clarity.  But it’s also two-fold because it will also help the fishery aspect of the lake and create habitat and stuff for the fishing community out there in Fountain Lake."

The dredging is expected to make the quality of the water better.  Officials expect lake bottom depths to get about two to five feet deeper as a result.

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