LGA Project Manager Randy Rath installs native plants in an enhanced wetland area on Indian Brook.
A multi-year project to protect the upstream waters of Indian Brook was completed recently by the Lake George Association. The project is located at the intersection of Federal Hill and Sawmill roads in the town of Bolton.
Over a number of years, a small section of Indian Brook started to collect sediment in an area that was once a swimming hole. Eventually the swimming hole completely filled in, and non-wetland vegetation became established. Without the swimming hole to slow the water’s speed, the brook started to carry more sediment downstream and into Lake George, contributing to a delta at the mouth of the brook.
In 2009, the LGA cleaned out the swimming hole. About 500 cubic yards of material were removed. In spring 2010, native shrubs were planted along the bank to filter storm runoff. The former swimming hole is now functioning as a sediment basin, allowing sediment that is carried during high flow periods to swirl around and drop out of the stream. The sediment remains in the basin and does not flow down to the lake.
This summer, the LGA completed construction of a second sediment basin, a little further upstream from the original.
LGA Project Manager Randy Rath said the objective was to create a basin that captures and settles out suspended material during storm events, plus to enhance an existing wetland area and use the natural process of wetland plants in removing nutrients, by planting native vegetation.
Initially the wetlands were separated from the flow of the stream by sand bags and a straw bale dike. Fortunately the dike was not opened until after storm Irene, and even though water overflowed the dike during the storm, the basin and wetlands remained intact, and continue to function as designed.
A third aspect of the project included roadside drainage improvements. A roadside ditch was stabilized and several check dams were put in place to slow the stormwater flow running down the shoulder of Federal Hill Road. A small basin installed at the end of the ditch captures the flow and allows sediment and debris to fall out. Additional road shoulder work allows for some stormwater sheet flow to occur over a vegetated area.
LGA Executive Director Walt Lender complimented Kingsley Construction, Dave Myers of Greystone Engineering and Fiddlehead Creek Farm & Native Plant Nursery for their role in the project.
He said the next task for the LGA and its partners is to complete the effort to remove the delta at Indian Brook, as well as the sand bars at the mouth of Finkle and Hague brooks.