The Downers Grove Park District is partnering with the Village of Downers Grove for a dredging project at Barth Pond in Patriots Park. The project, which will begin this week and take around four months, is needed to help improve the health of the pond for plants and aquatic life.
Over the next four months around two feet of silt will be “hydraulically dredged” from the pond bottom using a floating barge. During this time the east parking lot (55th Street and Grand Ave) will be closed to the public.
Barth Pond was originally constructed to serve as a Village of Downers Grove stormwater detention facility, and receives water from neighborhoods to the southeast and southwest of Patriots Park. Over many years, deposits of silt and algae have accumulated on the pond bottom, decreasing it from the original 5-foot depth to approximately 3 feet or less in some areas today.
These current conditions have resulted in poor aquatic habitat for fish and other animals found in a healthy pond. Since the pond serves as a Village stormwater detention facility, the Village of Downers Grove will be partnering with the Park District to complete the removal of this accumulated silt material.
The dredged material will be pumped through pipes to a processing area at the east end of the park, where the silt will be dried using a centrifuge de-watering machine and loaded directly into trucks for removal.
Other de-watering methods could require storing the silt within the park in large de-watering bags, often for several months at a time, but this approach will allow the material to be removed immediately.
While the recent shoreline improvements such as new aquatic plantings will help to improve aquatic habitat, removing the accumulated silt is a critical step in restoring the health of Barth Pond. A deeper pond will result in less algae growth and allow more fish to survive the winter months.
Press Release, August 11, 2014