Overview

Natural and man-made lakes in the Midwest are valuable resources that provide recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat and aesthetic enjoyment. When lakes become impaired and water quality deteriorates, the beneficial uses diminish and the economic value decreases. This is often caused by sediment and nutrients transported from agricultural and urban sources that accumulate in lakes. This can lead to decreased water clarity, frequent algal blooms, loss of aquatic habitat and potentially harmful levels of bacteria or toxins. Lake rehabilitation projects aim to improve water quality and restore the value of the lake.

The FYRA team will take an integrated approach to improving impaired lakes and reaching water quality goals. Through watershed and internal load assessment, FYRA will develop a comprehensive management plan and strategic actions targeting major pollutant sources and contamination reduction. FYRA is experienced in all phases of project implementation and can provide conceptual level planning, final design and construction management.

FYRA Capabilities

  • Identifying site specific water quality goals
  • Water budget and nutrient mass balance
  • Pollutant load allocation and lake response modeling
  • Alternatives analysis of pollutant load reductions and treatment alternatives
  • Developing water quality management plans and recommendations
  • Final design, quantity determination and cost estimation
  • Preparation of construction plans and specifications
  • Permitting
  • Construction management and field observation
  • Stakeholder group coordination and guidance for multi-resource projects
  • Funding management and grant assistance

Featured Project

Carter Lake Water Quality Improvements Construction Observation

Carter Lake, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska

The construction observation of the Carter Lake Water Quality Improvements Project included project management and oversight of the implementation of several best management practices intended to reduce the pollutant/nutrient load to the 320-acre Carter Lake. The lake had historically exhibited poor water quality, high nutrient concentrations, and algae blooms. Restoration and construction consisted of creating shoreline stabilization features, erection of a wet detention basin to intercept local stormwater outfalls, modifications to an existing wet detention basin, sediment traps at storm sewer outlets, hydraulic dredging and spoils disposal. Shoreline stabilization features consisting of groin structures provide angler access and a series of perpendicular breakwaters to promote aquatic vegetation establishment between structures. Offshore breakwater structures implemented at storm sewer outlets are multi-purpose features that provide shoreline stabilization, aquatic habitat enhancements and trapping sediment. The new and existing wet detention basins create a treatment system that promotes sedimentation, while encouraging biological uptake of dissolved nutrient by aquatic vegetation with the wetland enhancement berms and extended retention time. Dredging was also performed which increased the depths in portions of the lake and removed sediments with high nutrient concentration in order to enhance fishery habitat and prevent excess vegetation growth in the main body of the lake. The result of this restoration created a healthy, stabilized water environment with increased clarity throughout the heavily used recreational lake.

All management practices were strategically selected to improve the water quality at Carter Lake. The management practices were selected by a community-based watershed management process that was conducted by a technical advisory team of local government agencies, and a council of local citizens.

In October 2013, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) received an Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation for the Carter Lake Water Quality Improvements Project.