Lake Sequoyah Sediment Removal Project

Lake Sequoyah Sediment Removal Project

What is this project?

The Lake Sequoyah Sediment Removal Project is an ongoing effort to remove silt from Lake Sequoyah to improve water quality and increase the recreation potential of the lake. The sediment is removed by using dredging equipment. The dredge pumps the sediment water to a dewatering basin. The sediment is very rich in nutrients and may be sold after it is dewatered for use in gardening or agriculture.

Why is it important?

The sediment carried by the white river has settled in the bottom of the Lake Sequoyah since the late 1950’s when the dam was built. In some areas, the lake is only 3-4 feet deep as a result of the accumulating sediment, which inhibits its recreational use. The sediment is carried downstream to Beaver Lake, the main drinking water source for Northwest Arkansas. If the sediment is removed from Lake Sequoyah, it will improve the water quality in the area and increase recreational use of the lake.

What is the current status?

Site access bridges and roads were completed in 2018 for trucks and equipment to access the sediment dewatering site. The road provides safe access to E. Huntsville Rd. (Highway 16). Berms were also constructed around the dewatering areas per design. The next phase of this project involves an engineering study of dredging operations and alternatives by Olsson. This engineering agreement contract was approved by the City Council on October 1, 2019.

Detailed lake depth surveys and soil sampling were conducted in early 2020. Results from these tests are pending and will inform recommendations from Olsson. A final report is expected in early 2021.

When is completion expected?

The engineering study and recommendations will be completed by early 2021 and will help guide the "next steps" of dredging or other physical improvements to the lake. Until a detailed plan is established, completion dates will not be available.

How was this project funded?

Funds are budgeted each year within the Lake Sequoyah Sediment Removal/Dredging Project in the Utilities Department.