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Pond rehab

One of the Meadow Lakes Golf Course water features was filled to alleviate an ongoing sludge problem


by: KEVIN SPERL - Pond number 10 at Meadow Lakes Golf Course was partially filled in to get rid of an ongoing sludge problem that produced unpleasant smells for golfers and nearby residents.

Three months ago, Meadow Lakes staff members were faced with an unsightly, sludge-ridden, foul-odor pond on their otherwise pristine golf course.

Today, that number 10 pond is less than half its former size and on its way to becoming a more sensory-pleasing wetland feature thanks to the hard work of city employees and generous community members.

“Essentially, the pond was not deep enough when they built it,” said Zach Lampert, the head golf professional and facility manager for Meadow Lakes. “So, sludge and organic matter had built up over the years in that pond.”

To deal with similar pond problems in the past, small windmills were added to the course that helped aerate the ponds and eliminate odors.

With their most recent problem pond, golf course staff decided the best way to correct the issue was to fill part of it in.

“It was the least-cost way to get it done,” he said.

Lampert said that City Street Supervisor Scott Smith oversaw the project, which began in late October. The first step was to bring in about 180 dump truck loads of pit rock to create a base layer.

“Then they started hauling dirt,” Lampert said. “We are looking at almost 400 loads of dirt.” He went on to say that more than 250 loads came from the Ochoco Irrigation District while the rest was provided by Travis Severance with White Deer Ranch.

Smith then smoothed the dirt out over the fill area, making the landscape suitable for future golf play.

“It is contoured very nicely,” Lampert said of the completed area. “As we begin to landscape this in the spring, it will start to take shape. At this point, we don’t know how we want it to look, exactly.”

The golf course manager went on to praise Smith and others who provided materials and labor at a bargain rate of $4,500. He noted that the market price of the dirt alone was more than $42,000.

“If we were paying for these materials, it was over $50,000,” he said. “What Scott was able to do for us was a heck of a value.”

Although the condition of the pond was vastly improved, Lampert said there is still more work to be done. In addition to the landscaping they will do this spring, they have to deal with the remaining pond.

“What’s left of our wetland is still filled with that sludge,” he said. “Steve Reynolds, our course superintendent, is looking into some ways to get rid of that.”

In the end, Lampert is pleased with the final result and hopes that the rehabilitated pond will be a more pleasant water feature for future golfers.

“We are much better off than we were six months ago,” he concluded.



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