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KU will go ahead with project to improve Potter Lake

The $125,000 process will clear the lake of oxygen-sucking plants that killed many fish. This is the second time the lake has been drenched in nearly 100 years.

April 8, 2010

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Kansas University will spend $125,000 to dredge Potter Lake, a project that will help preserve a campus icon.

The funding is coming from KU’s Student Senate Finance Committee, the Office of the Chancellor and KU Endowment, according to a KU news release.

Another $200,000 project, funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, will help reduce the amount of storm water runoff coming from Jayhawk Boulevard that drains into Potter Lake. That money will be used to upgrade storm drain inlets and add a basin to collect runoff.

In Potter Lake’s 99-year history, the lake has been dredged once. The upcoming project is set to start in June and should be finished before the fall semester starts. The dredging won’t require the lake to be drained. Instead suction pumps on barges will pull sediment from the lake’s bottom.

“We are absolutely estatic about it,” said Melissa Allen, who is vice president of the Potter Lake Project, a student group that has been pushing to preserve the lake. “We never thought the money would come this quickly.”

In approving the project, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little praised the students in the Potter Lake Project for their work to restore the lake. They scooped out eight tons of coontail, added aerators to the lake to increase oxygen levels and secured funding.

Over the past 50 years, storm water runoff has caused the lake to fill with sediment, nutrient-rich fertilizer and plant life. Last summer, Potter Lake reached a crisis point as heavy rainfalls led to a burst in plant growth, which sucked oxygen from the water. As a result, hundreds of fish died.

Last fall, the Kansas Biological Survey estimated there were 600 dump trucks worth of sediment in the lake.

Comments

Keith 4 years, 8 months ago

All the rubber pulled from the bottom can be recycled through the Goodyear plant in Topeka.

hbjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Hey Keith:

All the rubbers buried in the sendiment from the young men who lived in the frat houses around Potters lake made for a goodyear!

riverdrifter 4 years, 8 months ago

I think it's cool that somebody can get ecstatic over dredging sludge. Now, there's an upbeat person!

John Kyle 4 years, 8 months ago

"Potter Lake reached a crisis point as heavy rainfalls led to a burst in plant growth, which sucked oxygen from the water."

This doesn't sound right.

Alfred_W 4 years, 8 months ago

queequeg: "Potter Lake reached a crisis point as heavy rainfalls led to a burst in plant growth, which sucked oxygen from the water."

This doesn't sound right.

The lack of oxygen is an indirect effect that comes after the initial burst of growth. The massive plant growth can't be sustained after the runoff is over. When the plants die, decomposition uses up all the oxygen and THAT is what kills the fish. We've pointed that out here in the comments section several times but it never makes it into the articles.

storm 4 years, 8 months ago

Why do people still rely on spellcheck? "The $125,000 process will clear the lake of oxygen-sucking plants that killed many fish. This is the second time the lake has been drenched in nearly 100 years."

Flap Doodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Worth repeating: • jkealing (Jonathan Kealing) says… bronze- I've warned you privately, now I'll warn you publicly. You do not have bearded_gnome's name correct. If you don't immediately cease to attempt to out an anonymous user, your account will be banned. In addition, I will immediately ban any account I suspect to be created by you without notice, warning or further cause. This is your final warning. Jonathan Kealing Online editor Why has paulette2 lasted this long?

georgiahawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow snap, what did Paulette2 do to you?

Danimal 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm excited to see Potter Lake revitalized, it's been a long time coming.

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 8 months ago

I talked to a fellow student years ago who caught several 30 to 50 lb catfish from Potter Lake and returned them. I'd like to know their fate. Big cats are pretty resilent, although not to oxygen starvation.

classclown 4 years, 8 months ago

"Kansas University will spend $125,000 to dredge Potter Lake, a project that will help preserve a campus icon."

======================================

If they want to preserve a campus icon they should leave it alone.

riverdrifter 4 years, 8 months ago

This wasn't the only pond with a fish kill last summer. There were a bunch of ponds hereabout that had massive kills. A friend's 5-acre pond had a devastating kill followed by a dreadful stench. CClown, if they don't maintain the pond it will turn into a shallow mosquito pit. The usual way to rehabilitate a pond is to breach the dam and drain it, let it sit a year and then excavate & rebuild. That wouldn't have been practical here, I guess, but it would've been at a fraction of the cost.

LogicMan 4 years, 8 months ago

"KU will go ahead with project to improve Potter Lake"

Excellent news. Let the muckraking begin!

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