Lake Springfield Watershed Management Plan

Project Description

Northwater was retained as a sub-consultant responsible for all technical aspects of the Lake Springfield Watershed Management Plan.  Lake Springfield is the largest municipally-owned lake in Illinois and is a source of drinking water, a recreation resource, and essential to the city’s power generation.

Technical roles included a detailed watershed characterization and advanced GIS spatial analysis and mapping, identifying watershed Best Management Practices (BMPs), public participation, and a custom watershed pollution load model.

The custom pollution load model (SWAMM) was built to quantify and locate sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus loading to the lake. It was calibrated to existing water quality and stream flow data and resulted in spatially explicit loading by land/parcel unit.  Model development and attributes also included: a custom GIS landuse layer, loading from drain tiles, tillage, and existing treatment practices, such as detention basins or filter strips.  SWAMM was used to quantify load reductions from watershed treatment practices and identify “hot spots.”

SWAMM was incorporated into a secure online interface allowing managers to view and query map layers and hydrology, navigate the watershed, view and query areas of high sediment and nutrient loading, watershed plan recommendations, and expected pollutant reductions, place custom BMPs and calculate their load reductions, and track progress through a management dashboard.

Read about another water supply initiative with the City of Springfield….

Drought Risk & Emergency Water Supply

I was first introduced to Jeff Boeckler from Northwater Consulting in 2013 shortly after the Sangamon County SWCD was awarded an Illinois EPA 319 grant which included development of a new watershed-based management plan for the Lake Springfield Watershed (LSW). Northwater Consulting had been awarded a sub-contract under this grant to complete a comprehensive watershed resource inventory of the LSW. While I had over 20+ years of history working with the Lake Springfield Watershed stakeholders, I did not have the experience or expertise to write a watershed plan. This new plan had to be more comprehensive and include EPA’s required 9-elements in this watershed-based plan to meet their approval. This watershed plan would not have come to fruition without the tremendous amount of assistance, guidance and support from Northwater. I relied on their experience and knowledge in watershed plan development, along with Jeff’s willingness to help write this plan. He was my rock! While I’m sure I tried his patience many times, he always remained very professional. We developed a great working relationship and sincere respect for each other, which I will value forever. Northwater Consulting is a company I would highly recommend to develop the work products you need. They take pride in their work, adhere to the scope of work outlined in their contract with you, meet the timelines set and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their customers are completely satisfied with the deliverable's they create for you.

- Barb Mendenhall, Sangamon SWCD

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