Dredging Update

August 17th, 2015 No Comments

Lake Linganore is a man-made, 209-acre lake in Central Frederick County, Maryland, which was created with the completion of an earthen dam across Linganore Creek in 1972. Linganore Creek flows into the Lower Monocacy River and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay. The Lake is a source of drinking water for the City of Frederick and is an emergency water source for Frederick County.

Over the years, Lake Linganore has been losing storage capacity due to sedimentation. The upper reaches of the Lake have been especially susceptible to infilling with sediment. In addition to the loss in water storage capacity needed by the City of Frederick and Frederick County, for some homeowners in this area, sediment accumulation has eliminated or severely restricted access to the lake.

In 2008 Frederick County entered into an Intergovernmental Funding Agreement with the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) to complete a comprehensive study of the Lake Linganore watershed, which included bathymetric and sediment studies for the lake. These USGS studies show that since the lake’s creation in 1972, the main portion of the lake has lost approximately 16 percent of water volume, while the upper portion, upstream of Boyer’s Mill Road, has lost approximately 65 percent of water volume, due to sediment accumulation. The information provided by the studies, which were published in 2010 and 2013, were used as a basis for new agreement among Frederick County, the City of Frederick and the Lake Linganore Association (LLA) which, among other things, includes a project to dredge sediment from the lake to improve water capacity as well as navigation in the area of the lake upstream of Boyer’s Mill Road.

The new Agreement, which was fully approved in December 2014, allocates the cost of the dredging project among the three entities with the City funding 50%, the County 25% and the LLA 25%. The entire project is expected to cost approximately $7 million and take several years to permit and complete the dredging. The current proposed dredging is intended to restore the depths of the upper portion of the lake to eight (8) feet below normal pool elevation, which will entail removing approximately 253,000 cubic yards of material from the lake.

In January 2015, Frederick County, which is managing and administering the project, entered into an agreement with Maryland Environmental Service (MES) to perform Phase I of the Lake Linganore dredging project. This phase of the project includes the alternatives analysis, preliminary design, and permitting to obtain the necessary approvals to remove the sediment from the lake.

MES, along with subcontractor Anchor QEA, will complete the alternatives analysis, which will include an evaluation of the options for placement of the material that will be dredged from the lake. This analysis will also include shoreline and bathymetric surveys, as well as sediment sampling to determine the physical and chemical properties of the sediment to be dredged from the lake. The alternatives analysis will also look at the logistics, cost, and feasibility of the placement options under consideration. Following the selection of the preferred alternative, a 30 percent design will be completed to include with the permit application for the project.

In order to develop the list of placement options, Frederick County, the City of Frederick, and the LLA worked together to come up with a list of alternatives for consideration. This list included both onsite and offsite properties, as well as both private property and land owned by the LLA.   The list was provided to MES in order for MES and Anchor QEA to develop a matrix taking into account such parameters as available area, potential placement capacity, and regulatory issues, to name a few. The alternatives were then preliminarily ranked based on effectiveness, implementability, permitting, and cost. After discussion, the team determined that due to permit requirements of long-term monitoring, alternatives, which would have relied on offsite private property, should not be considered a likely placement alternative. The top three alternatives for placement are: Frederick County Reich’s Ford Road Sanitary Landfill, the Isles of Balmoral, and the “Bowl.” If the County’s Reich’s Ford Road landfill received the material it would be stockpiled on site until it could be used for future daily and intermediate cover requirements associated with the landfill operations. Therefore it would not consume any of the County’s remaining (landfill) waste disposal capacity. Additional information on each of these alternatives will be presented at the September LLA Town Hall Meeting.

The alternatives analysis, which will evaluate all options in great detail, is currently underway. An important and early step in this analysis is to characterize the sediment to be dredged, both physically and chemically, in order to determine the feasible placement options. The sediment sampling took place the week of June 15th, and the samples were sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the sediment analysis will reviewed and discussed with the project team, as well as the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), in order to determine whether the sediment characteristics present any limiting factors for dredged material placement.

Following the completion of the alternatives analysis, the project team will review the analysis and come to an agreement as to which alternative(s) will best meet the project goals. Following the selection of the preferred alternative, an application will be submitted to MDE for a permit to complete Phase II of the project, which will include final design, dredging, and placement.

For additional information on the project, please join us at the September 19th LLA Town Hall meeting, or contact Stephanie Lindley at

Leave a Comment

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated so, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!

You must be logged in to post a comment.