Lake Altoona gets machine to remove excess sand

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 4:36 PM CST
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - A machine to help preserve Lake Altoona arrived Thursday.

The Eau Claire River deposits an estimated 60,000 cubic yards of sand into Lake Altoona every year.

The Lake Altoona District Board says the sand is making it difficult for boaters to navigate the Lake. To combat the sand buildup, the Lake District received a bedload collector Thursday, donated by the state of Ohio.

The bedload collector is a nearly 40-ton machine that will travel over the bottom of the Eau Claire River and collect excess sand.

“We’ve got a lot of, you know, granular sand. And so that will fall right down in. And then it’ll be pumped from the river a half a mile up here to our sand spoil site,” Fred Kappus, Lake Altoona District Board Member, said. It will take about a year for the Lake District to get the machine ready for use.

The total cost of the project is estimated at around $500,000.

The Lake District is forming a non-profit organization “Friends of Lake Altoona” to raise funds for the project.