Bachman Lake Dredging UpdateWinter 2022/2023
Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) is progressing on the Bachman Lake dredging construction and Dam and Spillway improvements design. The dredging contractor, Renda Environmental, Inc., began performing dredging activities in February 2022. The dredge barge began at the westward end of the lake and dredged east toward the narrow area of the lake where the deposits are thickest and where islands of sediment have formed.
To date, DWU and its project partners have removed 142,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment. That’s enough to fill more than 325 Southwest planes flying out of nearby Love Field! Beyond the sediment, nearly 3,000 tons of large debris have also been removed, including an SUV last July. The contractor, Renda Environmental, is about 70% finished and scheduled to finish dredging by early spring. The infamous “island” of Bachman Lake has been removed, which means less obstruction on the lake and better recreation for the rowers of the Dallas Rowing Club.
The Dredging Process
Dredging officially began when Renda Environmental started preparing an offsite facility for processing the dredged sediment in February 2022. The dredging barge arrived on the lake in May 2022. Here’s how it all works.
- Dredging pulls a slurry of sediment and water up from the lake bottom.
- The slurry passes through the pipe on the surface of the water to a processing site on Denton Drive.
- Large material, including litter, is screened out of the slurry.
- Sediment is separated from the water, and the clarified water is pumped back into the lake.
- The sediment is dried for transport to beneficial reuse disposal sites.
- A large excavator on a floating platform is used to lift large debris out of the lake such as trees and stumps.
- That large debris, including tree branches and trash, is sent to a landfill.
The design of the rehabilitation of Bachman Lake’s dam and spillway began in October 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in March 2023. The design will bring the dam into compliance based on the TCEQ dam safety and hazard classification requirements. The rehabilitation improvements will significantly reduce the likelihood of a breach by replacing the existing service spillway to improve the capacity and moving and widening the auxiliary spillway to safely pass flood events. Additional improvements include hardening the earthen embankment to protect the dam and comply with TCEQ dam safety guidelines. This second phase of Bachman improvements will be advertised for construction bids in late spring/early summer 2023, with construction anticipated to begin in late 2023.
The latest information on the Bachman Lake Dredging and Dam & Spillway Rehabilitation Project can be found on the project website at https://bachmanlakedam.com.