Lake Linganore Dredging

The dredging project was well underway in October near the Nightingale Beach on the upper end of Lake Linganore near New Market. The project is now finished, County Executive Jan Gardner announced Thursday.

A project to expand Lake Linganore’s water capacity and ensure the cleanliness of the water it provides to Frederick residents has concluded, County Executive Jan Gardner announced at a Thursday press conference.

The city, county and Lake Linganore Association partnered to fund the two-year, $21 million dredging project, which resulted in the removal of 150,000 cubic yards of sediment.

If that much sediment were laid across a football field, it would be seven stories high, Gardner said at the press conference.

Over nearly 50 years, sediment build-up from upstream tributaries has shrunk the lake’s volume and threatened to decrease the quality of a body of water that serves as Frederick’s largest single water source and as a back-up source for the rest of the county, said Stephanie Lindley, project manager and lead environmental specialist for the Maryland Environmental Service.

Upper portions of the lake, north of Boyers Mill Road, lost roughly 65 percent of its water capacity, according to a news release from the county executive’s office.

“Lake Linganore is the largest single water source for the city — providing water to Linganore Creek from which we pull to treat up to six million gallons per day to supply potable water to our residents and businesses,” Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said in the release. “Volume in the reservoir must be sufficient to provide for required flow-by in Linganore Creek even during drought conditions.”

The city of Frederick financed 50 percent of the project, while the county and the Lake Linganore Association split the remaining half.

A $3 million grant from the state increased by two-thirds the amount of sediment that the dredging removed, Lindley said.

Machines removed sediment through a process called hydraulic dredging, in which sediment is mixed with water and pumped to a staging area, where the water is returned to the lake while the remaining sediment — at this point a dirt-like substance — is removed and used as landfill cover, Lindley said.

The project, which the state deemed essential work, continued through the pandemic and halted only in the winter months of 2019 and 2020 due to freezing temperatures, Lindley said.

The three parties signed the agreement to remove sediment from upstream portions of the lake in 2014, though it wasn’t until 2019 that dredging began.

“Before the first piece of equipment rolled into the Lake Linganore community in 2019, the county spent a substantial amount of time, actually years, of conducting studies and acquiring the permits that were necessary,” Gardner said.

In other news:Gardner also reminded county residents about Feeding Frederick, an initiative that the county launched at the end of 2020 to connect people struggling with food insecurity to free food distribution sites.

Nearly one in four Marylanders, many of whom are children or elderly, are dealing with food insecurity, an issue that the pandemic has exacerbated, according to the initiative’s website.

“The past 15 months have been a challenge and have been difficult for many people in our community, and for some it remains a difficult time,” Gardner said. “After losing income or falling ill, it may be a challenge simply to put food on the table or to pay rent.”

A map on the Feeding Frederick website connects county residents based on their location to organizations providing free food. The site also provides Marylanders with resources to help those who may be struggling.

Follow Jack Hogan on Twitter: @jckhogan

(10) comments


Mikec is so right; every tree is precious unless you're a large corporate developer.



"A $3 million grant from the state increased by two-thirds the amount of sediment that the dredging removed, Lindley said."

If the entire project cost $21M, how did an additional $3M increase the amount of sediment removed by 2/3?


Due to overdevelopment Lake Linganore is going to fill back up with sediment. Additionally, Linganore allows clear cutting of forests and woodlands, which serve as buffers for runoff. The irony, if you live in Linganore, you need to contact the HOA before you remove any tree from your yard....even if it's dead. I wonder if Ryan Homes has to turn in a permit for everyone of the 10,000 trees it's bulldozed in the last five years?


With current storm water requirements for new developments, sedimentation may actually reduce as farms are converted into developments. Agriculture is the single largest source of sedimentation (58 percent of the sediment that entered the Bay in 2012, see: Also remember, more developments are being built because we humans continue to reproduce at a rate that continues to expand are roughly 7.8 billion population. Yes, developers push governments hard to allowed land to be built upon, but if our population were not growing, that demand would shrink drastically and it would be more replacement rather than growth of new buildings/developments.


I'm not familiar with current storm water reqs. I do see first hand when construction is happening shoddy sediment fencing at construction sites. During big storms these get washed away and rivers of sediment flow into Lake Linganore.

Also, people need to stop treating their lawns with chemicals. This stuff is poison and not good for the environment. A golf course-like lawn, while it may look nice, is very unhealthy.


Agreed Mike. Our lawn is whatever grows naturally here on Catoctin Mountain.

The soil is so poor that in order to have that golf course-like lawn we would need to have multiple dump truck loads of top soil brought in. It might not be uniform, but it is green. [cool]

To be fair, we don't have neighbors on all sides (just woods) so there is no pressure to compete for "best lawn" status.


The stormwater requirements are not for just during construction, but post construction All those dry pond areas where sormwater can collect before being discharged to stormwarter sewer systems or to surface waters. However, once construction is completed there should be less sedimentation runoff from a development rather than farming. Since I'm on well water, I've long ago pretty much stopped using chemicals. I even pull up poison ivy by hand using long gloves. I have a lot more weeds but it doesn't bother me. BTW, Mr. Natural, while I have neighbors my forsythia hedgerow across my front yard and single tree lines along the sides and back hide a lot from view.


Excellent point MD1756.

11,000 climate scientists agree with you -- there are far too many humans for the Earth to support indefinitely. According to a research paper signed by all 11,000 scientists, America is at DOUBLE its sustainable population. We need to slowly, voluntarily, stop and then reverse population growth, until the U.S. has about 150,000,000 people.

BTW -- there was a lot of misunderstanding (and hysteria) recently about the reported reduction in the birth rate. Many MSM sources made it worse. The birth rate did decrease, put our population continues to increase, due to immigration. And that increase is projected to continue for at least several decades.

So not to worry -- the Ponzi Pyramid o' Growth is safe for now, even as our life-sustaining resources are depleted.


Great comment Mike. [thumbup]

Greg F

$140 per cubic yard. Some pretty expensive mud.

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