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Detroit Lakes Public Works restores stormwater retention pond on Eighth Street

Members of the Detroit Lakes Public Works Department cleared shoreline aquatic plants and truck loads of sediment as they restored a stormwater retention pond on Eighth Street in Detroit Lakes over the past week.

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Many of the aquatic plants along the shoreline and sediment were removed by the Detroit Lakes Public Works Department as workers restored the stormwater retention pond on Eighth Street in Detroit Lakes between Sept. 19 to Sept. 22, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — The shoreline aquatic plants and sediment at the stormwater retention pond on Eighth Street in Detroit Lakes have been removed by the city's public works department over the past week.

The clearing is part of rotational maintenance to keep the ponds performing as they were intended by creating a landscape to filter rainwater run-off as it returns to the area's water table naturally, said Shawn King, public works director for Detroit Lakes.

"Most of the time, you don't even see where the ponds are, but this one is a little more visible," said King. "In order for a stormwater system to properly work, it brings sediment in there, and that sediment needs to be cleaned up from time to time."

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Many of the aquatic plants along the shoreline and sediment were removed by the Detroit Lakes Public Works Department as workers restored the stormwater retention pond on Eighth Street in Detroit Lakes between Sept. 19 to Sept. 22, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

King said the city needs to inspect the sediment levels in about 20 of their retention ponds every year.

Explaining how the pond works, King said, "Water from our stormwater system goes into the pond, and it settles all of the bad stuff out, the pollutants, they settle to the bottom, and eventually it builds up to the point where you need to clean them out so the pond can continue to work as it should."

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King said he wouldn't know how much sediment they ended up removing until he gets the final numbers on how many truckloads his team has taken out via a specialized, long-armed backhoe.

Public Works has plans to also tackle the pond behind Dynamic Homes and adjacent to Detroit Lakes Middle School, as well as the pond along Highway 34, near Casey's General Store, if they have time, he said.

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Many of the aquatic plants along the shoreline and sediment were removed by the Detroit Lakes Public Works Department as workers restored the stormwater retention pond on 8th Street in Detroit Lakes between Sept. 19 to Sept. 22, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"It depends on how many hours it takes to get this one cleaned out to see if we can do some more," said King. "When you get that overgrowth of trees, it's just a cluster to try to get those things clean."

With less sediment in the ponds, the ponds will be able to hold more water, which should help with area flooding, he said.

"We just try to get back to the original elevation ... when that thing was put in," said King. "Because when you are at that original elevation, that's when the pond works at optimal performance."

He also said he hoped his pond crews will be able to complete the restorations by Sept. 23.

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