The City of Flagstaff will begin the process of dredging Frances Short Pond to remove sediment from post-wildfire flooding. First, the pond will be drained and dried so that the sediment at the bottom of the pond can be more easily accessed and removed. Once the sediment has been removed, the pond will be refilled with reclaimed water and spring runoff. The draining process will begin today, Dec. 22, 2023, and the entire project is expected to take three to six months, with the pond scheduled to be reopened in the late spring or early summer. The public should avoid the pond while the dredging process is taking place.
Dredging is required due to the large amount of sedimentation, ash, and debris from post-Pipeline Fire flooding that entered the pond this summer. Dredging removes sediment, ash, and debris that has settled to the bottom of the pond, thereby increasing the capacity of the pond for future post-wildfire flooding runoff. Removing ash from the bottom of the pond also allows a healthy pond ecosystem to develop.
Drained water from the pond will be slowly metered into the Rio de Flag drainage system. There are currently no sports fish in the pond due to poor water quality from ash and post-fire debris. Fish stocking will re-commence after the pond has been dredged and post-wildfire flows produce a lower concentration of ash and debris.
For related questions, please contact Ed Schenk, City of Flagstaff Stormwater Manager at Edward.Schenk@flagstaffaz.gov.