Tag Archives: dredging a lake

How much does Dredging cost?

How much does dredging cost is the most commonly asked question for many lake associations.  We sat down with Dan McDougal, President of Dredge America and asked him that question.  

When lake homeowner’s call for our assistance with their potential upcoming dredging projects, the first question we usually get asked is, “How much does it cost?” This is usually followed by, “Just a ballpark figure that I won’t hold you to.” Then we often hear, “We have a board meeting tonight and I wanted to report on dredging to get the project moving.”

There are hundreds of variables that determine the cost of restoring a lake. There are three questions that need to be answered to begin the process of getting a ballpark feasibility price:

  1. How much material is there to dredge?
  2. Where can you put the material that is coming out of the lake?
  3. What is the nature of the material to be dredged?

In order to determine a quantity, the first thing that is required is to perform a pre-dredge hydrographic survey (bathymetry).  This type of survey will provide water depth information throughout the entire body of water.  At the same time a sediment survey can be performed providing soft sediment thickness information.

It is money well spent at this stage to hire an experienced hydrographic surveyor with proper insurance and credentials.  This will help protect the association if there is ever a dispute.  The hyrdrographer will be able to give a general description for the soil characteristics and perform the sub-bottom profiling all in one site visit. With this information, you can make an informed decision about how much more data is needed in order to get the most cost effective proposal for your dredging project.

After you have quantified how much sediment needs to be removed, the next step is to find a place to put it. Most people underestimate the amount of space they need to place and contain the sediment that comes out of the lake.  The size of area you will need will depend on many factors with the number one being the lay of the land. Usually for every two acres of lake that you dredge, an average of three foot of sediment, you will need an acre of upland area to place the material. This will yield an average elevation increase of six feet on land prior to consolidation.  The closer this area to the lake, the cheaper the dredging costs will be with all other things being equal. 

The final question to answer is the material characteristics. In most lakes, what is being dredged is often referred to as “muck.” This is generally a combination of silt, clay, and organics. There is also sometimes sand in the very end of the coves. The dredger needs to know this as sand is more costly to pump further, but easier to dewater; while muck pumps easy, but can be costly to dewater, particularly if the disposal area size is limited. Hard packed sand, or hard pan clay bottom, are more difficult to cut, and therefore more expensive. Rock is even more expensive and most often cost prohibitive. There should be a clear distinction if the dredger is expected to only remove sediment that has filled the lake since it was originally constructed, verses cut virgin ground that has never been excavated.

It is best to work with someone with many years of dredging experience to help guide you through the maze and advise you on what is needed, not needed, and what options you can elect for the associated costs. In the end, you want someone you can trust with a long history and who can supply you with pages of references. The very last thing you want is someone to learn about dredging on your project and on your dime.

So is your project feasible? If you can’t afford to have someone qualified come out and perform a hydrographic survey, the answer is no. If you can do this, then you can have a quantity and a three dimensional image of your lake bottom.  With this critical information you can communicate with your neighbors on what the problem is, where it is, and a ballpark of what it might cost to fix it.

One final thing to consider is that all lake associations have more mud than money. With the hydrographic survey, you can set your priorities based on a realistic budget that your association is willing to spend. You and all of your neighbors live on a lake for a reason. It is a lifestyle. Your lake has to be maintained just like your roads and your sewers. To ignore it, is to ignore the largest asset in your community. Property values go down or up based on the quality of the lake.

If you have anymore questions for Dan McDougal, feel free to email

or call him 800.464.5597.  You can also visit their website for more information.

The Mapping Network surveyed the bottom of the lake including the sediment depths. This map shows the lake water depth as blue contours lines as well as a color shaded sediment thickness. This specialized technology allows the POA to easily locate problem areas.
The Mapping Network surveyed the bottom of the lake including the sediment depths. This map shows the lake water depth as blue contours lines as well as a color shaded sediment thickness. This specialized technology allows the POA to easily locate problem areas.

The Mapping Network surveyed the bottom of the lake including the sediment depths. This map shows the lake water depth as blue contours lines as well as a color shaded sediment thickness. This specialized technology allows the POA to easily locate problem areas.

The Mapping Network is an industry leader in Hydrographic Surveys, Bathymetry, Geographic Information Systems Consulting, Data Conversion, and GPS Data Collection.  We specialize in terrain and sub-surface (bathymetry) GPS mapping.   If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality golf course, lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your resource mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

phone:  (402) 241-8177

e-mail: info@themappingnetwork.com

website: www.themappingnetwork.com

Check out The Mapping Network on Facebook for more examples and success stories!

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What is the Best Time of the Year to Map Your Lake?

Right Now!  The Mapping Network maps lakes throughout the entire year but typically the best time to map a lake is from fall until spring, while the weeds are down.  Understanding exact acreage, depths, and chemistry of your lake are critical factors for making the best management decisions in 2012.  Armed with this knowledge you will be able to properly place structure, deliver appropriate stocking densities, select the correct fish species, apply the right amount of weed control, and of course gain a better idea where those bass may be hiding!   An accurate lake map provides the information needed to make the most of your aquatic resource.   The Mapping Network provides the highest quality and is the most affordable bathymetric mapping system on the market today.  If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your lake mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

phone:  (402) 241-8177

e-mail:  info@mappingnetwork.com

website: www.themappingnetwork.com

Check out The Mapping Network on Facebook for more examples and success stories!

3D color-shaded depth map created by The Mapping Network shows extensive detail of the lake bottom.

About The Mapping Network:

The Mapping Network is an industry leader in Geographic Information Systems Consulting, Data Conversion, and GPS Data Collection.  We specialize in terrain and sub-surface (bathymetry) GPS mapping.   If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality golf course, lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your resource mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

What is Being Left on the Bottom of Your Lake?

Most lakes and ponds are fed by rivers and creeks and water isn’t the only thing being carried into the lake.  Something unseen is slowly accumulating on your lake bottom – Sediment.   When flooding occurs, the increased river levels cause extremely high amounts of sediment to be deposited into your lake.  Sedimentation is one of the costliest problems facing lakes due to the difficulty of removal.  If you live on a lake that is fed by a creek or river, there is a high need to monitor and map out sediment accumulation.  Learn more about our Sediment Mapping here >> Sediment Mapping Detailed. 
Here at The Mapping Network, we specialize in accurately mapping bodies of water, calculating the water volume, collecting sediment depth samples at critical areas and monitoring the distribution of sediment over time.  We have a nationwide group of professionals specializing in all facets of lake management.   If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your lake mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

Locations of sediment depth points collected. Each cover where a creek entered the lake was surveyed for sedimentation. The results of this project will assist lake managers in creating dredging plans.

Map displaying sediment depths with color-shading to visualize the areas of high sedimentation.

The Mapping Network is an industry leader in Geographic Information Systems Consulting, Data Conversion, and GPS Data Collection.  We specialize in terrain and sub-surface (bathymetry) GPS mapping.   If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality golf course, lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your resource mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.phone:  (402) 241-8177e-mail: info@themappingnetwork.comwebsite: www.themappingnetwork.com

Check out The Mapping Network on Facebook for more examples and success stories!

Sediment Issues on Missouri River Marina

Most lakes and ponds are fed by rivers and creeks and water isn’t the only thing being carried into the lake.  Something unseen is slowly accumulating on your lake bottom – Sediment.   When flooding occurs, the increased river levels cause extremely high amounts of sediment to be deposited into your lake.  Sedimentation is one of the costliest problems facing lakes due to the difficulty of removal.

If you live on a lake that is fed by a creek or river, there is a high need to monitor and map out sediment accumulation.
The Mapping Network teamed up with a local engineering company to map a marina on the Missouri River.  The purpose of this project was to determine the amount of sedimentation in the marina.  The Army Corps of Engineers used this information to gather bids for dredging the marina.  The post-dredge report declared an accurate bathymetric and sedimentation survey was collected and all parties were very satisfied with the results.

Contour map with sediment thickness points of a marina on the Missouri River.

To learn more about our Sediment Mapping here >> Sediment Mapping Detailed

The Mapping Network is an industry leader in Geographic Information Systems Consulting, Data Conversion, and GPS Data Collection.  We specialize in terrain and sub-surface (bathymetry) GPS mapping.   If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality golf course, lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your resource mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

phone:  (402) 241-8177

e-mail: info@themappingnetwork.com

website: www.themappingnetwork.com

Check out The Mapping Network on Facebook for more examples and success stories!

Lake Dredging Due to Sediment Problems?

Save Significant Money on Dredging Projects with The Mapping Network!

The Mapping Network recently completed a mapping project for a large-scale home owners association in Arkansas.  The large lake had 21 coves and several homeowners were having difficulties accessing their dock due to sedimentation.  Here were some of the questions the HOA management team had:

– where is the highest sedimentation occurring?

– how much fluffy sediment (in cubic yards) is in each cove?

– if the lake is drawn down 5 ft, what would the shoreline look like?

– how much water (gallons and acre-ft) is in the lake?

– if we make each cove a minimum of 4 feet deep for boat access how much material do we need to remove?

– by undertaking this mapping process will it save us money in the end?

The overall goal of the lake mapping project was to survey each cove for future dredging along with the creation of an accurate map of the entire lake.  The lake had 21 coves and The Mapping Network collected water depths over the entire lake and fluffy sediment levels for all areas under 10 feet of water.

3D models were generated to show how much sediment had accumulated in each cove.  Contour maps were also made for each cove and given to the lake manager and engineer to review for dredging planning.  The Mapping Network then created cut-fill calculations and maps based on the specifications of the lake manager.  The HOA then used this information as part of the bid package given to dredging companies.  Presenting the precise plans took out the guess work and kept all the dredging contractors on task and it is projected to save the HOA an estimated $5,000-$12,000 per cove!  An incredible cost savings when compiled over 21 coves.

In the example maps below, The Mapping Network located the areas where the current depth was less than four feet, which was the dredging zone.  The mapping techniques utilized in this project helped the HOA accurately calculate and isolate areas of high sedimentation for removal and helped the property manager budget accordingly.

The bottom line – This powerful information allows for smart management and planning decisions and will serve as a baseline for future projects.  A great value!

A series of maps showing the seleceted area for dredging. The current lake bathymetry (top) and the post-dredge contours (middle) are shown in blue shading. A cut-fill model (bottom) shows areas of cut needed to reach the goal.
A series of maps showing the selected area for dredging.
The current lake bathymetry (top) and the post-dredge contours (middle)
are shown in blue shading. A cut-fill model (bottom) shows areas of cut
needed to reach the goal.

The Mapping Network provides the highest quality and is the most affordable bathymetric mapping system on the market today.  If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your lake mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

phone:  (402) 241-8177

e-mail: info@themappingnetwork.com

website: www.themappingnetwork.com

Check out The Mapping Network on Facebook for more examples and success stories!

What is Being Left on the Bottom of Your Lake?

Most lakes and ponds are fed by rivers and creeks and water isn’t the only thing being carried into the lake.  Something unseen is slowly accumulating on your lake bottom – Sediment.   When flooding occurs, the increased river levels cause extremely high amounts of sediment to be deposited into your lake.  Sedimentation is one of the costliest problems facing lakes due to the difficulty of removal.  If you live on a lake that is fed by a creek or river, there is a high need to monitor and map out sediment accumulation.  Learn more about our Sediment Mapping here >> Sediment Mapping Detailed

Here at The Mapping Network, we specialize in accurately mapping bodies of water, calculating the water volume, collecting sediment depth samples at critical areas and monitoring the distribution of sediment over time.  We have a nationwide group of professionals specializing in all facets of lake management.   If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your lake mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

Locations of sediment depth points collected. Each cover where a creek entered the lake was surveyed for sedimentation. The results of this project will assist lake managers in creating dredging plans.

Map displaying sediment depths with color-shading to visualize the areas of high sedimentation.

contact:  Steve Bartosh

phone:  (402) 241-8177

e-mail: info@themappingnetwork.com

website: www.themappingnetwork.com

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The Mapping Network provides the highest quality and is the most affordable golf course and bathymetric mapping system on the market today.  If you are serious about maintaining  a high-quality golf course, lake or pond, be sure you have the ability to make the best decisions,  get your lake mapped by the professionals at The Mapping Network.   Give us a call or send an e-mail to find out more details.

contact:  Steve Bartosh

phone:  (402) 241-8177

e-mail: info@themappingnetwork.com

website: www.themappingnetwork.com