Shark in the park takes over Lake Marion celebration

“Leaky lake” no more: Lake Marion a project well done
Joe Block

Lake Marion is finally a lake again, after a concerted effort by the village. The restoration project, which began last year and endured record flooding rains, was complete by summer.

Mazomanie Village President Gary Harrop explained the Lake Marion restoration process:

“Rob Montgomery and his staff at Montgomery & Associates, a water engineering firm from Oregon, were recommended to us by our general engineering firm, Town & Country. Rob began by first identifying the problem. He drilled test wells around the lake and found that groundwater was well below the level of the lakebed which was assumed to be porous.”

Harrop continues, “Montgomery theorized that, when water was being diverted from Black Earth Creek into the lake, a continuous flow not only kept the lake full but also raised groundwater to the level of the lakebed and masked the nature of a ‘leaky lake.’ When the DNR decommissioned the dam and diverted water to the newly designed creek, the water level fell and the nature of the problem became evident. Rob recommended a number of options which included downsizing the 16 acre lake to keep construction costs to an affordable level but was firm in recommending that the lakebed needed resealing.”

[Public Works Director] Mark Geisler was the person who found ESS13,” said Harrop,” a polymer that is sprayed on the soil that solidifies it into a near impervious surface. The other option recommended as a sealant was bentonite which would need to be shipped from Texas in multiple semi-trucks. Geisler obtained a sample of the polymer from the Arizona firm that created the product, tested it and called it to the attention of both Montgomery and Town and Country who conducted their own due diligence and found it to be effective. Geisler’s recommendation saved the village in excess of $100,000 plus the cost of shipping.

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