In 2005, the Town began discussions on three proposed projects that would restore the effectiveness of a massive Lake rehabilitation project completed in 1992.
The projects were:
- Dredging and rebuilding the sediment ponds near Mound Road which capture sediment from Jackson Creek before it enters the Delavan Lake Inlet.
- Dredging Brown’s Channel to facilitate navigation for homeowners and dredging behind the weir on the Channel; the weir is a dam-like structure that no longer served the purpose of keeping sediment out of the Channel since it was full.
- Dredging the sediment channel in the Inlet to maintain a depth that would move sediment and water into the main Lake.
Extensive studies were conducted on all three projects. For dredging projects, sediments must be tested for pollutants in order to find an appropriate place to put them, and permits must be obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the size and amount of disturbed area.
The first project was Mound Road. By August 2006, permits were received for the engineering plans and by November 2006, the project started. The North Pond was completed by February 2007 and the East Pond was completed in February 2009. There were many delays caused by weather, changes in location for the removed sediment, and engineering changes once the structure of the ponds was understood. The area around the ponds is a wetland, which has been partially restored with native plants. Although it is not open to the public it is hoped that funding can be found that would make this a public area.
The next project was Brown’s Channel. The project also received permits in 2006 and was underway by November. 3000 cubic yards of sediment was dredged before winter, and the project was completed in July 2007 when 100 cubic yards were removed from above the weir. For the Brown’s Channel project, there was a special assessment of homeowners who directly benefited from the work done.
A smaller Brown’s Channel maintenance project was completed in late 2009, to repair the weir.
The final project was the Inlet dredging. In March, 2011, the Town Board finalized the dredging contract with JND Thomas. Work was completed in October, 2011.
Hydraulic dredging removed more than 45,000 cubic yards of sediment on the west side of the Inlet for a length of 3,000 feet to a depth of 6 feet. Peter Berrini of HDR Engineering supervised the project and provided updates on the Town's website.