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Sedimentation Study

Over the last three years, the High Rock Lake Association (HRLA) has worked with local county Commissioners, the Department of Natural Resources, Cube Hydro, and the Army Corps of Engineers to help launch a 6-9 month-long sedimentation study. This comprehensive study will examine and develop long-term mitigation strategies for the sediment build-up occurring on the lake, most notably the sandbar that's formed at the mouth of Swearing Creek.

The study, funded equally by Rowan and Davidson counties, is already underway and conducted by Geosyntec Consultants of North Carolina. Its findings, expected later this year, will inform our options and possible courses of action as we explore essential questions about our lake and its long-term future.

While we have not yet completed the summaries of all three years of our actions and activities on the arch of this critical concern, we have started our updated news thread below with the most significant of our recent activities, our presentation of this topic to members at our annual meeting in October, which included the introduction of Geosyntec’s representatives and a comprehensive overview of their project.

Stay tuned for updates and additional backstory posts in the coming weeks!

  • 29 Apr 2024 3:30 PM | Harris (Administrator)

    Original Meeting Date: October 02, 2023

    Topic Presented By:
    HRLA President Lee Snow and Rowan County Board of Commissioners Chairman & HRLA Board Member, Greg Edds

    Special Guests:
    Geosyntec Consultants Corey Platt (Scientist) and Brian Weir (Engineer)

    In Summary

    High Rock Lake is a beloved destination for recreation and a vital water source for over 60,000 residents. However, sediment obstruction is a growing concern that threatens the lake's health and the communities that depend on it. The High Rock Lake Association (HRLA), Rowan and Davidson Counties, the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Army Corp of Engineers have initiated a collaborative effort to address this issue. They have identified the need for a comprehensive study, analysis, and development of a management plan for a sediment removal process. This six to nine-month project has a budget of $300,000, which is being shared equally by Rowan and Davidson Counties.

    The project aims to investigate the sediment obstruction and its impact on the lake's health, prioritize practical alternatives, secure funding, and Click Here To Visit Geosyntec Consultants Websiteimplement a solution. Geosyntec Consultants has been selected for the project. They are a consulting and engineering firm specializing in addressing complex environmental and natural resource problems and civil infrastructure issues. They have a proven track record of successful sediment removal projects across the US.

    The project will be executed in five steps: data compilation, listening sessions with stakeholders, prioritizing practical alternatives, securing funding, and implementation. Geosyntec’s team will use a matrix to identify high-priority areas that need urgent attention and will also explore multiple funding sources to support the project, including federal and state grants.

    The team recognizes the importance of identifying best practices for sediment removal to ensure the project's success. One of the critical aspects of the project is determining what to do with the material after removal. Geosyntiec has learned that transporting the sediment within 15 miles of the site is generally the most cost-effective solution. The removed material can often be used as a fertilizer for agriculture, which benefits the community, developers, and contractors. Sediment removal also helps to protect natural habitats by creating deeper water and larger footprints, which also helps to mitigate algae blooms and increases water storage capacity.

    The study will focus on the area from the I-85 bridge to Swearing Creek and Crane Creek. The team will conduct a one-mile survey with two footprints to assess the impact of sediment obstruction. They will also use surveying and coring techniques to determine the sediment's pollutant and chemical analyses, physical texture, and nutrient content, as well as conduct bench tests for beneficial reuse.

    The project's success will depend on securing funding from various sources, including FEMA grants based on pre-disaster mitigation. The team will also need to ensure that the sediment removal process is carried out efficiently, with minimal impact on the environment and the communities surrounding the lake. The HRLA has pledged its continued support for the project, including financial contributions if necessary. Greg Edds has also requested a letter of support from Cube Hydro. The team is confident that the project will succeed with the support of the community, private and public sector clients, and state and federal representatives.

    In conclusion, High Rock Lake's sediment obstruction removal project is crucial. It will benefit the lake's health and the communities that rely on it. The team's comprehensive and strategic approach of data compilation, listening sessions, prioritizing practical alternatives, securing funding, and implementation should yield positive results. With the community's support, we believe the project will succeed, ensuring that High Rock Lake remains a cherished recreation destination and a vital water source for the surrounding communities.

  • 8 Aug 2023 4:16 PM | Harris (Administrator)

    Dredging plans underway at High Rock Lake


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High Rock Lake Association is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 159, Southmont, NC 27351

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