Seneca Lake Dredging Project Update

June 11, 2018

Dredging will be conducted at Seneca Lake in 2018 and 2019 as part of the MWCD long term maintenance dredging program. MWCD Lakes have been slowly filling in with sediment since their construction in the 1930's, thereby reducing storage capacity and adversely affecting water quality. Dredging (to remove silt, sediment, or other material from the bottom of a lake, river, or other body of water) this sediment will increase the flood storage capacity, and help increase the life of the reservoir.

Dredging will be conducted at Seneca Lake in 2018 and 2019 as part of the MWCD long term maintenance dredging program.  Dredging began in May at the eastern end of the lake, while the remaining work in 2018 will be at the northwest end near the Hickory Grove, Chestnut Grove, West Shore, and East Shore Cottage Areas.  Work in these areas will begin in June and is expected to last for approximately 3 months.   

This work involves a dredging vessel that pumps sediment through a pipeline to a nearby settling basin.  Much of this pipeline will be located within the reservoir, and its location will change as dredging moves from one area to another.  The pipe will float just below the water surface when filled with clean water, and may sink to the lake bottom while sediment is being pumped.  The pipeline will be marked by lighted danger buoys with orange pipeline markers spaced every 100 feet between the buoys.  Please use caution when boating within 100 feet of the dredge equipment and/or the pipeline, and be aware that the pipe may not be directly below the markers. 

Danger buoy identifying pipeline location
Floating pipe with orange pipeline marker

Designated boat crossing locations will be marked with red/green channel marker buoys where the pipe will be anchored to the lake bottom and boats can safely cross the pipeline at all times. 

Additional dredging will be conducted in 2019 at the east end of the lake, and additional details will be available once those plans are finalized. 

The Seneca Lake dredging project will remove approximately 90,000 cubic yards of sediment, and will cost approximately $3,500,000. Funds for this project are provided by the MWCD maintenance assessment. 


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