Hed: Lake cleanup project to start this week At a glance The city of Cheyenne is set to begin a project this week to deepen Lake Minnehaha in Holliday Park to improve water quality and reduce offensive odors caused by high levels of nitrogen in the water. CHEYENNE - Visitors to Holliday Park will someday enjoy a deeper, cleaner and less stinky Lake Minnehaha. The city plans to start the first phase of a remediation project this week, with the goal of removing sediment and making the lake deeper. Lake Minnehaha is located within Holliday Park, near the intersection of 17th Street and Morrie Avenue. The lake has long been plagued by odor and water quality problems, said Rick Parish, the city's parks and recreation director. The shallow depth of the lake, combined with an excess of sediment on the lake floor, creates a high-nitrogen environment in the water, which causes algae blooms to grow out of control, Parish said. These algae blooms reduce water quality and are a major contributor to the lake's unpleasant odor. The lake is currently about three feet deep. After the remediation project is complete, the average depth will be eight feet, Parish said. The contractor in charge of the project, Torrington, Wyo.-based Earth Movers Inc., is also expected to remove 37,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake. Deepening the lake and removing sediment will help reduce the water temperature and limit the growth of algae blooms, Parish said. In addition to dredging the lake, the city plans to add a new outlet system that will automatically release excess storm water and help maintain a stable water depth. The city will also add a device called a SolarBee, which circulates lake water. This circulation helps oxygenate the water and reduces algae buildup, Parish said. Using a process called rip-rapping, the city will add a layer of rock and stone to the bank of the lake. The rip-rap is designed to reduce erosion on the banks and keep some of the sediment out of the lake. Rip-rap is "not as friendly for geese," which is a secondary benefit, Parish said. Goose droppings contribute to the high levels of nitrogen in the water and add to the lake's odor. The initial phase of the remediation project, which has a price tag of nearly $1 million, is expected to take three to four months, Parish said. The lake will be off-limits to park visitors during the project. "People can still enjoy the park," Parish said. "But please give the construction crews working around the lake a wide berth." Teresa Moore, parks and recreation planning manager, said in a news release, "Those using the park will need to keep a watchful eye for trucks and heavy equipment during the remediation process." Once the lake is deepened, the city plans to add a new concrete pathway around the lake. A plan to build a gazebo near the lake is also in the works. "We're not quite sure what our options (for additional recreational activities) will be when everything is finished and cleaned up," Parish said. There is a possibility the city could look at adding paddleboats, Parish said. "It will be a real benefit to the city to have the lake cleaned up," Parish said. "It will make the whole park much more enjoyable." Lake cleanup project to start this week
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