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City of New HopeMinnesota

Meadow Lake Drawdown

The project involves a winter drawdown of Meadow Lake, beginning in November 2021. Prior to the drawdown, water quality will be measured for the entire Spring/Summer/Fall of 2021 to establish accurate base line data. A drawdown allows for mucky lake bottom sediment to be exposed to winter weather, which will help compact the sediment. In addition, a full drawdown will kill a majority of the invasive curly-leaf pond weed in the Lake. Following the drawdown, at least two years of water quality monitoring will take place to determine how the lake reacted to the drawdown. It is possible that a future summer drawdown would be necessary to see the desired effects on the lake, plant, and fish ecology.

Once the desired effects are seen, a dosage of chemical treatment will be determined, such as an alum treatment. At this time, this could take place in either Year 4 of the project, or later on. Watershed engineers will carefully monitor the lake to determine the correct timing, chemical, and dosage prior to any application. The intention of the chemical dosage is to "lock-in" the lake bottom sediments that have been compacted by the draw down, to prevent sediment release over time. As the project moves forward, it is the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission and the City's goal to thoroughly study Meadow Lake over the next four to eight years to ensure that the lake's functions are fully understood prior to any additional drawdown or chemical treatment.

Project Updates:

  • November 1, 2022 - Routine water quality monitoring occurred this summer. A fishery survey revealed the invasive fathead minnow population was eliminated as a result of the drawdown. A vegetation survey found the invasive plant curly-leaf pondweed still remained in the lake. A sediment core survey found that phosphorus levels remain high in the lake bottom sediments. Next steps in the Meadow Lake Management Plan will be determined this winter.   
  • July 11, 2022 - Monthly water quality monitoring has been ongoing on Meadow Lake and the lake has appeared in good condition. A fish survey and vegetation survey are planned for late July to assess the impact of the drawdown on the fathead minnow and curly-leaf pondweed population, respectively. Sediment cores will be collected from the lake in July to assess the impact of the drawdown on sediment consolidation, phosphorus fractions, and phosphorus release rates.
  • April 29, 2022 - Water levels in Meadow Lake have returned to pre-drawdown levels.  Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission staff will monitor water quality, submerged aquatic vegetation, phytoplankton and zooplankton, fish community, and sediment chemistry throughout the year.
  • March 22, 2022 - Meadow Lake Drawdown Project Update Notice
  • Jan. 13, 2022 - The lead engineer went out earlier this week and determined there is sufficient frost depth, so no additional pumping is needed on Meadow Lake. The floats for the pump intake are still in place but the contractor will remove them and any remaining equipment early next week.
  • Dec. 6, 2021 - The contractor continued pumping through the weekend and plans to remove the six-inch pumping system sometime this week as the water level is sufficiently low. Barring any heavy rainfall/warm weather, the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission (SCWMC) plans to let the pond sit and continue to freeze. SCWMC engineers will evaluate the pond in January once a solid layer of ice has formed to inspect if/where additional pumping may be necessary under the ice. 
  •  Nov. 15, 2021 - Due to weather conditions, installation of the pumping system has been delayed until Wednesday, Nov. 17. Set-up is expected to take two to three days. Drawdown of the lake is anticipated to take two to three weeks.  

Project Contact

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission at 763.553.1144 or New Hope's Project Coordinator, Nick Macklem at [email protected] or 763.592.6765.

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