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Water Management Associations
Delavan Lake Dredging Clears Natural Filter
Delavan Lake Watershed is a large 26,000 acres that drain into Delavan Lake. In the early 1980s, water quality in Delavan Lake had deteriorated to the point that there were severe blue-green algae blooms and excessive rough fish populations, such as carp and bigmouth buffalo. The Lake Committee was formed to help the Town manage the Lake. The University of Wisconsin’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute of Environmental Studies both contributed research and engineering planning for the rehabilitation project. By 1989, a comprehensive rehabilitation project began which included the creation of a sediment control channel was dredged in the Inlet

Most of Delavan Lake's water, about 68 percent of it, comes from the narrow inlet on the northeast side of the lake, and through the 3,000-foot channel leading to it. The inlet and the channel drain the 26,600-acre Delavan Lake watershed. Over time, the inlet had become clogged with so much sediment that it lost about 56 percent of its natural storage capacity and became less effective at cleansing the water flowing into the lake.

The dredging project will remove as much as 50 percent of the sediment and phosphorus entering from Jackson Creek. About 34,522 cubic yards of sediment has already been scraped from the two sedimentation ponds. When the project is completed, about 900 truckloads of sediment containing 40.8 tons of phosphorus will have been removed. Before the dredging, about 7,000 pounds of phosphorus had entered the lake through the inlet every year.

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