Work begins to improve drainage of Lake Minatare

Lake Minatare have dropped to historically low levels due to drought and a maintenance project at the lake

Lake Minatare has been drawn down to 8500 acre feet, which is comparable to levels of 2002 and 2003 drought. Contractor Jeffres Sand and Gravel of Burwell, Nebraska has begun dredging operations on the intake valve.

In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Pathfinder Irrigation District Manager Dennis Strauch says around 50 - thousand cubic yards of sand and silt material will be removed from the lake.

Since the tower was extending out into the lake in 1965, there has been little maintenance to in take valve. When the lake was very low in the early nineties, Strauch says they put in a coffer dam and they were able to drain and inspect the intake valve.

This maintenance project will ensure Pathfinder Irrigation won't experience another delay to the start of the irrigation season. Earlier this year the intake valve became sealed off becauase of sediment build up.

The public can still use Lake Minatare during the dredging process, but Strauch asks recreators to stay away from the east end of the dam where it discharges into the Lowline Canal.

It is anticipated that the dredging operation will take 2-3 weeks to complete.

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