Lake Chesterfield

CLIENT Harbors at Lake Chesterfield Homeowners Association

Location Wildwood, MO

Lake Chesterfield is a 17-acre lake that was constructed in 1986 for stormwater retention and recreation.

After heavy rains, a small “leak” was observed through an approximately 10-foot by 10-foot opening in the shoreline of the lake. Over the weekend, the entire lake drained through a large sink on the lake bottom. The water reappeared in Lewis Spring, about four miles north of the lake site.

Shannon & Wilson was hired by the homeowners association to determine the cause of the sink and to develop methods for repair. Research indicated that the lake had been placed in a known karst area and had a history of leakage. Our services included:

  • Evaluating the safety of the dam and reservoir
  • Subsurface exploration to identify and determine the extent of the voids or solution channels, including a geophysical survey and exploratory borings
  • Development of a repair plan

Our subsurface investigation revealed that the wave action in the lake may have been eroding the liner and that recent installation of a sewer had further disturbed the liner. This loss of liner allowed seepage through the lake bottom aggravating the ground loss through the sink.

Shannon & Wilson designed and oversaw the implementation of a grouting and lining program to plug the sinkholes. We also made recommendations for repairing erosion along the east bank of the lake, which included flattening the slope and adding a clay liner and riprap.


Thomas Abkemeier
Vice President, Saint Louis Office Manager

Craig Brooks
Laboratory Manager

Jason Frierdich
Associate, St. Louis Geotechnical Group Manager

Bill Kremer
Senior Associate

Mark Wieners
Senior Geologist

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