Iverson Lake goal: Two feet lower [UPDATED]Published 10:59am Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Updated 10:59am Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A mild winter, with the lack of snowfall, was good news for county employees working to draw down water from area lakes. Among them is Iverson Lake, south of Fergus Falls.
Iverson Lake has a gravity water release system in place near Buse Town Hall of the west side of the lake. The water level, as of March 14, stood at 1,176.7 feet.
“Our goal is to drop the lake level down to the Ordinary High Water (OHW) mark of 1,174.2 feet. We’ve got over two feet to go,” said County Engineer Rick West to members of the Otter Tail County of Commissioners on Tuesday.
The Iverson Lake emergency temporary culvert was approved in September 2010 by the county board. The action was needed in order to keep water off Highway 25.
Installation of a permanent outlet was approved by the board this past fall. The low bid of $237,375 came from Barry Construction, Fergus Falls.
The permanent outlet is located near the Buse Town Hall, across the lake from the former I-94 rest stop that was demolished last year. Iverson Lake’s water flows downstream to Orwell Dam.
“The bottom line is that water will flow from Iverson Lake one way or another,” said West, “but the proper procedure is to construct a permanent outlet.”
Another area lake that needs drawdown is Johnson Lake, east of Dalton along County Highway 12.
The permanent outlet and pumping station on the north side of Johnson Lake, east of Dalton, became operational in late November 2011. Following the winter months, water is again heading northward, into the Pomme de Terre watershed system.
The Highway 12 roadway near Johnson Lake was down to one lane of traffic last year. High water limited traffic to one lane near the lake, with east-bound and west-bound drivers taking turns.
Johnson Lake, as of March 19, had a water level of 1,299.80 feet. The goal is to get that down over six more feet, to the level of 1,293.26 feet that was recorded on Nov. 18, 2008.