Environmental experts are saying that one of Iowa's most popular recreational spots is depleting and disappearing, silently and quietly before our eyes.

According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Coralville Lake & Dam has been experiencing a rapid buildup of sediment in the 60 years of its existence.

The lake isn't going away, but water quality is diminishing its use

The Friends of the Coralville Lake and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers out of Rock Island who manages the lake say it has gone from an ability to hold 492,000 acre-feet of water volume when it was built in 1958, but in 2021 it is estimated to only hold 421,000.

There is an increasing presence of bacteria

This is not uncommon among recreational lakes and waterways in Iowa and it is still presently safe to use, but there is growing concern about the presence of e.coli, algae blooms, and cyanobacteria. According to the Iowa DNR and Corps of Engineers, the lake also has issues with turbidity, the measure of clarity or cloudiness of the water caused by materials like clay, silt, tiny inorganic and organic matter, algae, dissolved colored organic compounds, and plankton and other microscopic organisms. The Army Corps of Engineers does have some good news. The amount of lead in the water at Coralville Lake has actually been decreasing.

What they are doing to fix it

A three-step process known as the "Save the Lake" campaign is being proposed. Phase 1 is a feasibility study to educate the public on the issue and gauge their concern. Phase 2 is to raise funds through public and private donations for a lake restoration program. The third and final step would be to launch the lake restoration program.


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