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1. Believe it or not, the lake drawdown is underway. With the heavy rains experienced over the last month, Wonder Lake only returned to “normal” water level in the last few days, despite the gradual opening of the sluice gates in the dam over the past few weeks. Other than a forecast for some rain Thursday night and Friday, the 10-day weather forecast looks dry at the moment.

2. It is estimated that the lake level will be lowered by at least two feet below the dam spillway crest elevation, but the actual extent of the drawdown needed will not be determined until the upper portion of the upstream dam spillway face is exposed, and the extent of concrete patching required can be visually observed.

3. To put things in perspective, over the 830 acres of Wonder Lake, each inch of water level that has to be lowered from the lake for the drawdown equals 22,537,820‬ gallons of water. To reach the estimated two foot drawdown level, that would mean roughly 540,912,830 gallons of water need to pass through the sluice gates in the dam. That’s without factoring in the flow entering the lake from the creeks, or rainfall, and needing to not cause flooding of downstream properties. Needless to say, it’s a delicate balancing act.

4. It is hoped that all of the spillway repairs and dredging work can be completed by the beginning of November 2019, so that the lake can begin re-filling before winter. Obviously, the length of time for the lake to refill will be subject to the extent of the drawdown and how much rainfall occurs this fall, but based on the last drawdown, the lake should be back to normal pool for winter sports activities. We will post updates on the MPOA website as conditions change.

5. In addition to those who have already secured regulatory permits to work on their shorelines during the drawdown, this event also provides an opportunity for subdivisions and lakefront landowners to conduct clean-up operations along their frontage. The Wonder Lake Sportsman’s is hoping to coordinate volunteers to assist in this effort.

6. The Nippersink Watershed Association has begun the Troy Creek Inlet project at Deep Springs Woods Country Club, which has received funding from the Illinois EPA. The intent of the project is to stabilize the DSWCC lake shoreline, as well as both sides of the portion of Troy Creek that enters the lake at that location. Rip-rap is being installed to reduce shoreline / streambank erosion, and to reduce sediment delivery to Wonder Lake. The area upslope of the installed rip-rap will be converted into a buffer of native vegetation, also funded by the IEPA.

7. The regularly scheduled “3rd Saturday” Nippersink Watershed Association Merchant Creek workday will be on Saturday, October 19th. Please note the meeting location being used for these workdays. Park Drive is the second side street off Wooded Shores Drive coming west from East Wonder Lake Road. As always, volunteers are welcome, and there are tasks available for all levels of effort.

8. As always, with autumn approaching, Wonder Lake landowners with lakefront or streamfront properties are strongly encouraged to NOT rake their leaves into the water, as this can create a significant nutrient load, fueling future algae blooms. Please consider composting raked leaves or utilizing available landscape waste disposal services.