County to evaluate Lake Peachtree for dredging
The Fayette County Commission will spend $17,500 to survey Lake Peachtree to determine if it needs to be dredged to remove silt buildup.
A contract for that amount was approved last week with the county’s consulting engineering firm, Mallett Consulting.
The lake is owned by Peachtree City but has been used as a county reservoir for drinking water since the late 1980s under a 50-year agreement brokered between the city and the county.
Pursuant to that agreement, the county has to conduct a survey of the lake every eight years for silt intrusion.
The lake was last dredged from between 2003 and 2004 at a cost of $1.03 million. The project essentially mothballed Drake Field from public use, as it was needed as a drying area for the silt that was removed from the lake.
The project was unique in 2003 because the lake did not need to be drained to accommodate the work. The lake was dredged by two barges that vacuumed the silt from the lake bed, transporting it to Drake Field through a pipe system.
The county is allowed under a 1985 agreement to pump as much as four million gallons a day from Lake Peachtree, which is connected to the county-owned reservoir, Lake Kedron.
There is one catch in the contract, though. The county is required to keep the level of Lake Peachtree steady. Under the 1985 contract, the only way the county can lower the level of the lake is for Lake Kedron to reach its silt pool level, along with a declaration of a water emergency from the Fayette County Commission which must be renewed every 30 days should such a situation arise.