Lake Linganore Dredging Status Update

June 13th, 2016 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 $15 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 the original 1972 grade, which will entail removing up to 350,000 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.
In December 2015, MES, along with subcontractor Anchor QEA, completed the alternatives analysis, which included an evaluation of the options for placement of the material that will be dredged from the lake. This analysis included shoreline and bathymetric surveys, as well as sediment sampling, from which the data were used to determine the physical and chemical properties of the sediment to be dredged from the lake.

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, the alternatives that would have relied on offsite private property, should not be considered a likely placement alternative. The top three alternatives included in the detailed alternatives analysis were: Frederick County Reich’s Ford Road Sanitary Landfill, the Isles of Balmoral, and the “Bowl.”

Following the completion of the alternatives analysis, which looked at the constructability, cost, schedule, permitting, and impacts of the top three alternatives, the project team reviewed the analysis and agreed that taking the material dredged from Lake Linganore to the Frederick County Reich’s Ford Road Landfill would best meet the project goals. The material will be hydraulically dredged from the lake, dewatered on-site at Lake Linganore, and transported via truck to the landfill. The dredged material will be stockpiled at the landfill until it is needed for daily and intermediate cover. The dredged material will not consume any of the County’s remaining (landfill) waste disposal capacity.
Currently the project team is in the final steps of preparing the permit application for the Lake Linganore dredging project, and anticipates submitting the application in June 2016. It is anticipated that permitting will take about 1 year, with actual dredging operations beginning in mid-2017 and continuing until mid to late 2019.

For additional information, please visit Frederick County’s page for the Lake Linganore Dredging Project or contact Stephanie Lindley at

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