Ishpeming applying for funding to help clean Lake Bancroft

Steps are moving forward to clean Lake Bancroft in Ishpeming.

The City Council recently approved a motion to apply for grant funding to remove sediments in the lake.

Lake Bancroft’s inlet was closed off a number of years ago, which may have contributed to the sediments clogging the lake.  Organic matter won’t settle to the bottom of the lake, turning the lake slowly into a swamp.

A plan is in place this spring to put a polymer in the water using flock logs to help break up the sediment.

“The polymer will cause the particles to precipitate out of the water and hopefully settle on the bottom (of the lake),” Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said.  “When they do that, they can oxygenate the water with some pumps that will help to stir up the water a little bit.”

“Right now, if they try to pump it’ll gum up the works because there’s so much organic material floating in the water that the pumps will get clogged up and not work anymore.”

The next step in the process is removing the pumped out organic material.  The city is looking at a $30,000 grant to help with the removal.

Slown said it will be a lengthy process, but it will benefit the residents of Ishpeming once it’s complete.

“I want the people of the community to know that we’re doing this for the community’s benefit,” he said.  “Nobody’s going to benefit as much as the average citizen by having a better environment in our city.  And really, hopefully in a few years from now people will be able to sit at Lake Bancroft Park and cast out into the lake and bring in a trout or some other type of game fish, and enjoy the lake.”

The city hopes it will be able to use the sediment from Lake Bancroft as compost or topsoil.