Project to improve Lake Menomin could happen this summer - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Project to improve smell of Lake Menomin could happen this summer


Menomonie (WQOW) - This summer the city of Menomonie is looking to clear the air on a problem it's been dealing with for years.

Menomonie resident, Marilyn Tye, describes the smell of Lake Menomin on a hot summer day. She says, "The stench is so bad that it's hard to breathe."

Mayor Randy Knaack says, "Lake Menomin is a great asset to Menomonie. It's just that we've let it go too far."

"The grandchildren have nicknamed the lake, in the late summer, Lake Stinky," says Tye.  

Tye has lived in the same home for close to 20 years. She says, "We live just about 100 yards, up the hill and 3 houses from the lake."

While you may find her out in the garden this time of year, Tye says that won't be the case during the heat of the summer. She says, "Unless the lake is fairly clean and the wind is blowing in another direction, we literally cannot be outdoors."

But changes could be coming to Lake Menomin as early as this summer. 

Knaack says, "The DNR has helped us come up with solutions, we've analyzed the soils within the bay and with that everything looks good to go. We're just waiting for a final approval from the DNR. "

The city wants to dig up 2 to 4 feet of muck that's built up over the years from the north east side of Wolske Bay.  That process could start as early as mid-July and take about thirty days.

"After we get done dredging nobody will know that it happened other than the lake will hopefully be clearer and more clean that there will probably fish habitat again in the Wolske's Bay area," says Knaack.  

There has been some hesitation expressed about the project.

"Some people think that it won't help. Some people think that we should fill the bay in. After awhile you have too many meetings and not enough action," explains Knaack. 

The goal is cities north of Menomonie will be inspired to do the same to their lakes. 

Knaack says, "We get their water and if they take care of their water on their end, by using the education we can supply by doing a test run here than it's all better for them and all better for us."

The city says it isn't sure of the exact cost of the project, but has set aside about $250,000 dollars in its capital improvement plan for lake projects this year.

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