Mission Hills using ‘floating dredge’ system to clean up pond, with massive bags on Ensley Lane

Reader submitted photo of the geotextile bags.

No, Mission Hills isn’t planning a massive bouncy house party on Ensley Lane.

Crews working for the city recently started the process of dredging the pond at 63rd Street and Ensley Lane, about two blocks west of Mission Hills City Hall, and are employing a new technique in hopes of reducing disturbance to surrounding homeowners.

Last time the city dredged the pond, clearing out years’ worth of accumulated muck that can make it unlivable for fish, they used a traditional method, draining the pond completely and then using a back hoe to dig out the sediment and haul it out in dump trucks.

“This was quite a messy process as the sediment had an odor and was not dewatered before being hauled off,” said Jennifer Lee, Mission Hills Assistant City Administrator.

So this go round, the city is using a floating dredge system. Two giant geotextile bags, which resemble the floor of a bouncy house, are stationed on Ensley Lane, set to receive sediment that is pumped up from a mechanical unit that is pulled along the pond surface by a cable system. The sediment stays in the tubes and then then water is pumped back into the pond.

“The dredge causes minimal disturbance to the fish and the sediment should not have an odor during this process,” Lee said.

Lee said the geotextile bags will stay on site for around 60 days as they “dewater,” and then will be hauled away.