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Project:    Fawn Lake Phase I Diagnostic-Feasibility Study
Location: Hawley, Pike County, Pennsylvania
Client: Fawn Lake Forest Association
Learn more... Download Project Summary


Project:    Fawn Lake Phase II Implementation Project - Lake Aerator
Location: Hawley, Pike County, Pennsylvania
Client: Fawn Lake Forest Association
Learn more... Download Project Summary


Project:    Mill Creek Watershed Assessment
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania 
Client: Bucks Conservation District
Learn more... Download Project Summary


Project:    Old Forge Crossings Streambank Restoration Project
Location: Devon, Chester County, Pennsylvania
Client: Old Forge Crossings Condominium Association 
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Project:    Pinchot Lake Bank Stabilization Project
Location: York County, Pennsylvania
Client: Izaak Walton League of America
Learn more... Download Project Summary


Project:    Weequahic Lake 1999-2000 Water Quality & Biological Assessment
Location: City of Newark, New Jersey
Client: U.S. EPA & Weequahic Park Association
Learn more... Download Project Summary



Fawn Lake Phase I Diagnostic-Feasibility Study back to top

Aqua Link, Inc. performed a Phase I Diagnostic - Feasibility Study for Fawn Lake and its surrounding watershed. Fawn Lake, a 147-acre impoundment, is located in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this study was to diagnose the causes of existing lake water quality problems, to evaluate both in-lake and watershed restoration alternatives, and to develop a comprehensive lake and watershed management plan to improve lake water quality. Over the years, Fawn Lake was routinely plagued by extensive blue-green algal blooms during the growing season. These algal blooms remained persistent even after repeated treatments with copper-based algicides.

As part of the Fawn Lake Phase I Study, Aqua Link designed and implemented a comprehensive lake water quality monitoring program. Aqua Link also determined hydrologic and pollutant budgets for the lake, thereby quantifying all major sources of water, nutrients and sediments to the lake from its surrounding watershed. A bathymetric survey was performed in order to calculate the lake’s water volume and its hydraulic residence time. Land use data, as determined from aerial photographs and field reconnaissance, were analyzed using GIS software.

Using the above information, phosphorus modeling was conducted in order to gain an understanding of how the lake responded to various incoming nutrient loadings and to evaluate applicable in-lake and watershed restoration alternatives for future implementation. In addition, Aqua Link assessed the lake’s fishery by performing a comprehensive fishery survey. Fish were collected using electroshocking equipment via boat and seines.

Based upon the above, Aqua Link developed a comprehensive lake and watershed management plan to improve and protect lake water quality. The management plan outlined three major categories of restoration: in-lake restoration measures, watershed restoration alternatives and institutional initiatives. In-lake restoration was aimed at improving lake water quality and the lake’s fishery. A large-scale destratifying aeration system was recommended to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations in the partially mixed hypolimnion and subsequently, to reduce in-lake phosphorus concentrations through iron-phosphate precipitation. To improve the lake’s fishery, a supplemental fish stocking program was provided. Watershed restoration alternatives focused on reducing nutrient loadings to the lake by implementing alternate wastewater management practices (e.g., enhancing the performance of existing on-lot septic systems, constructing a centralized wastewater treatment facility), establishing buffer strips along lake shoreline areas, and implementing homeowner best management practices for lawn maintenance. Recommended institutional components of the management plan were aimed at developing an environmental education program for watershed residents, implementing a waterfowl feeding ordinance and continuing to monitor the water quality in the lake.

Fawn Lake Phase II Implementation Project - Lake Aerators back to top

Aqua Link, Inc. installed a large-scale destratifying aeration system in Fawn Lake in 1998. Fawn Lake, a 147-acre impoundment, is located in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The aeration system was designed using lake water quality and morphological data collected as part of the Phase I Diagnostic - Feasibility Study

The aeration system was designed to destratify 100 acres of anoxic, partially-mixed waters in the lake’s hypolimnion during the summer months. The primary goals of installing a destratifying aeration system in Fawn Lake were twofold: (1) to increase the availability of deep water habitat for both forage and gamefish, and (2) to reduce in-lake phosphorus concentrations through iron-phosphate precipitation. Both goals directly correspond to increasing the dissolved oxygen concentrations in the lake’s hypolimnion. Lake aeration is one of several recommendations that were offered in the comprehensive lake and watershed management plan. The Phase I Study report also recommends the implementation of additional in-lake and watershed restoration alternatives to further improve and protect the water quality in Fawn Lake.

The aeration system in Fawn Lake is powered by a 50 h.p. air compressor, which uses three phase electric power. The air compressor was placed 500 feet upslope of the lake along an improved roadway. In order to supply air to the lake, the primary air line placed was in a trench that extends from the compressor house to air flow regulator house. Within the air flow regulator house, the primary air line is connected to five separate air flow regulators. Each air flow regulator is in turn connected to an individual in-lake air line. When combined, the total length of all five installed in-lake air lines is nearly 8,500 linear feet.

The air lines were constructed to delivery diffused air along their entire length and to remain suspended 9 inches off the lake bottom during system operation. Also, the air lines were constructed to be raised to the lake’s surface by forcing air into installed buoyancy lines via the air flow regulators. Therefore, routine maintenance can easily be performed on an individual air line by simply raising it to lake’s surface. Photograph shows the installation of the in-lake air line with attached buoyancy line and anchoring blocks.

Mill Creek Watershed Assessment back to top

Aqua Link, Inc. was retained by the Bucks Conservation District to conduct a watershed assessment for Mill Creek. As part of this project, Mill Creek, its tributaries and two county-owned lakes (Silver and Magnolia Lakes) were intensely studied. Mill Creek serves as the major tributary to both of these lakes. Silver and Magnolia Lakes are located within County-owned parklands and therefore serve as their focal points. The Mill Creek Watershed Assessment was funded by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) through the federal Nonpoint Source Program (Section 319 of the Clean Water Act).

A key product of this assessment was to develop a comprehensive management plan for the entire Mill Creek watershed. This management plan was constructed using watershed-specific data and data gathered during field investigations. Trained volunteers collected streamflow data and stream water samples for later laboratory analysis during both low flow (baseflow) and high flow (storm events). Important watershed-specific information (e.g., land use, hydrology, soils) was compiled and mapped using GIS (Geographical Information System) software.

Stream and reservoir data collected during the assessment were analyzed in order to assess the overall “ecological health” of these waters. Water quality and quantity data were also used to determine pollutant budgets for the entire Mill Creek watershed. Water quality models using pollutant budgets and reservoir data were used to determine total maximum daily loadings (TMDL’s) for the reservoirs and to predict phosphorus loading reductions that are needed to improve reservoir water quality. Watershed and riparian investigations were performed to identify major problematic areas (e.g., insufficient buffers, excessive soil erosion, in-stream sediment bars, streambank erosion/failure) contributing excessive nonpoint source (NPS) pollution to the study lakes.

The final product of the Mill Creek watershed assessment was a detailed final report that assessed the water quality of major streams and reservoirs, identified major sources of nonpoint pollution to these waters, prioritized subwatersheds on a NPS loading basis, and provided a technically sound comprehensive watershed management plan to reduce NPS pollution to streams, the County-owned reservoirs and ultimately the Delaware River.

Old Forge Crossings Streambank Restoration Project back to top

Aqua Link, Inc. was retained by the Association to stabilize and restore severely eroding streambanks at the Old Forge Crossings condominium housing development. The project design involved the utilization of natural stream channel design and soil bio-engineered principles.

The overall goal of this project is to reduce high levels of sediments and associated nutrient loadings to an on-site pond owned by the Association. Based on field reconnaissance of the watershed, streambank erosion along the pond’s major tributary was identified as the major source of sediments and nutrients. An additional goal of this project was to increase the aesthetics of the riparian corridor surrounding this tributary.

Aqua Link and a selected contractor stabilized over 500 feet of eroding streambank. Streambanks were stabilized using a combination of placed rock, coir fiber biologs, coir fiber erosion control fabrics and both herbaceous and woody planting materials as shown below.

Pinchot Lake Bank Stabilization Project back to top

Pinchot Lake, a 340-acre reservoir, is the focal point of Gifford Pinchot State Park. The reservoir serves as a drinking water supply and provides park visitors with a wide variety of recreational opportunities including fishing, boating and swimming.

Based on the 1994 Pinchot Lake Phase I Study, the lake is classified as “eutrophic”. This simply means that the lake contains excessive amounts of nutrients (namely, phosphorus and nitrogen) and sediments. Excessive amounts of nutrients and sediments in lakes can result in a number of lake problems such as, nuisance levels of aquatic plants and algae (algal blooms), shallowness, low dissolved oxygen levels and possible impairment of the lake’s fishery.

One of the major sources of nutrients and sediments to the lake is stream bank and lake shoreline erosion. The worst case of lake shoreline erosion was occurring within Loop B of the campground area. At Loop B, a 500-foot section of the lake shoreline was severely eroding due to wave action, surface water runoff and heavy pedestrian foot traffic. Heavy pedestrian foot traffic was primarily due to park visitors gaining access to the lake from their campsites.

In February 2002, Aqua-Link stabilized and restored a 500-foot section of severely eroded lake shoreline. Funding for this project was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) through its Growing Greener Grant Program. Severely eroded lake banks were stabilized and restored using soil bio-engineered and natural bank design principles.

For this project, native rock (iron stone), live stakes and live fascines were utilized. Live stakes (cuttings) and live fascines (“sausage like” bundles of branches) were created using branches from willow trees. During construction, several mature trees had to be cut down to maneuver construction equipment. These trees were later re-anchored horizontally into the bank and now serve as habitat for the lake’s fishery.

Weequahic Lake 1999-2000 Water Quality & Biological Assessment back to top

Aqua Link, Inc. and a local NJ consulting firm were retained to perform a water quality and biological assessment of Weequahic Lake. Weequahic Lake, a relatively shallow, 80-acre impoundment, is located within the city limits of Newark, New Jersey. This lake serves as the focal point of Weequahic Park, which is the second largest park in Essex County.

Funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) under Section 104 of the Clean Water Act. This assessment consisted of the following major tasks: lake water quality monitoring, aquatic macrophyte survey, macroinvertebrate survey and fishery survey. The 1999-2000 water quality data were compared to historical data reported during 1979-1991.

The final report for this assessment offered recommendations to improve water quality and the overall ecological health of Weequahic Lake. These recommendations focused on nutrient loadings reductions from the surrounding watershed, in-lake restoration methods (sediment removal or dredging, nutrient inactivation and aeration) to improve lake water quality and installing gravel beds at key locations to establish fish breeding habitats. In addition, it was recommended that the County discontinue the use of aquatic herbicides until aquatic macrophyte (plant) densities increase substantially.

 
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