DOWNERS GROVE – Cranes arrived at Patriots Park on Monday to start a hydraulic dredging project at Barth Pond.
The project, which is expected to take around four months, will remove about two feet of silt from the pond bottom using the floating barge, according to the park district. The dredging will increase the depth of the pond back to its original five-foot depth, which is needed to help improve the health of the pond for plants and aquatic life.
“Removing the accumulated silt is a critical step in restoring the health of Barth Pond," Downers Grove Park District Superintendent of Planning Paul Fyle said in a statement. "A deeper pond, together with the recent shorelines improvements, will result in less algae growth and allow more fish to survive the winter months.
“There are several different methods for dredging a pond this size, however, we believe we have chosen the approach that will have the least impact on the existing pond and Patriots Park.”
The silt removed by the barge will be pumped through pipes to a processing area at the east end of the park, where the silt will be dried using belt-press de-watering machines and loaded directly into trucks for removal.
During this project, the east parking lot at 55th Street and Grand Avenue will be closed to the public. The shoreline and pathways will remain open.
Additional improvements are also planned for the west end of Patriots Park – renovation of the existing playground is expected to begin in early September.