Removing sediment deposits below Morrow Dam

STS Hydropower has officially started a dredging project to remove sediment from an oxbow feature of the Kalamazoo River near South Wenke Park, Michigan.

The project is being conducted in cooperation with the Township of Comstock Parks Department, Kalamazoo County and the State of Michigan.

The oxbow is a natural depositional area that is currently filled with sediment.

Under the cleanup plan, STS will be removing approximately 3,000 cubic yards of sediment from the oxbow area to restore the natural depositional characteristics. The project is expected to take approximately 6 weeks to complete.

The dredging project is one of a number of steps STS is taking to address the sediment deposits downstream of Morrow Lake Dam that were identified following the emergency drawdown of Morrow Lake to complete spillway gate repairs.

The gate replacement was completed in December 2020, and water levels in Morrow Lake and the Kalamazoo River were returned to normal in early January 2021.

“In December 2020, STS completed an investigation of the sediment deposits in the Kalamazoo River downstream of the Morrow Lake Dam. The results of the Phase I Investigation indicated no chemicals of concern above human risk levels in the sediment deposits sampled,” according to their official statement.

The results of this investigation have been shared with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

Photo: SRS- Sediment Removal Services