Lake Hastings Restoration Planning Underway

Lake Hastings Restoration Planning Underway

Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Lake Hastings straddles the boundary between the Upper Big Blue and Little Blue NRDs and presents a unique opportunity for the entities to join forces with the City of Hastings to improve both urban and agricultural land that drains into the lake. A critical four-square mile sub-watershed has been identified between Hastings NW Dam and Lake Hastings as having potentially the most impact on lake water quality in terms of best management practices. 

Today the 70-acre lake is impaired due to excess sediment, nutrients, and due to the presence of unsafe chemical compounds. “These pollutants and contaminants and the excess sedimentation issue have led to our lake being classified as impaired for aquatic life since 2006 and it has been impaired for the aesthetics due to the sedimentation for about 12 years,” said Tara Ogren, a civil and water resources engineer with the City of Hastings.

A water quality management plan for the Lake Hastings watershed will help evaluate a variety of best management practices, from cover crops and riparian buffers on agricultural land, to streambank and shoreline stabilization, to stormwater best management practices to treat and temporarily store urban runoff as development continues around the lake. The two NRDs are partnering with the City of Hastings, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, and JEO Consulting to create a plan for how to restore the lake. Once the plan is complete, the city will apply for grants to implement the necessary changes.  Preliminary estimates for the total renovation cost are around $9.375 million. The federal share will be about 60 percent.

A community meeting about this project will be held on December 8, 5:30-7:00 p.m. (see details). More on this project is available here.