In 1934 the Works Progress Administration constructed a 10-acre lake southwest of Manhattan, KS in the Flint Hills. Today that lake is adjacent to a local Manhattan residence. Since the completion of the lake’s construction in 1934 the lake has always leaked and never held substantial amounts of water. SMH Consultants was tasked with determining a manner to seal the lake in addition to permitting to allow for pumping the lake full of water. Working with a local Manhattan contractor SMH developed several alternatives and it was finally determined that the most logical alternative was to mix bentonite into the in-situ soil in the lake’s bottom. In addition grading was completed along the banks of the lake that were previously near vertical exposing rock ledges where water could potentially leak out of the lake.
In 2011 the grading and sealing project was complete creating a recreational amenity for the adjacent residence. Also in 2011 permits were approved allowing for pumping water from a nearby creek to fill the lake. Now the lake boasts a boathouse, fishing habitat, a boat ramp, and a year round accessibility from any bank.