Island concept halted for Lake Peachtree

The Peachtree City Council has decided to pursue a normal dredging operation for Lake Peachtree that will again use Drake Field as a staging area to dewater the silt before it is trucked away.

The decision Thursday night came with acknowledgment that a large number of citizens opposed a second option of creating a second island on the lake with the silt that will be removed from the lake bottom.

The good news is that the dredging almost certainly couldn’t start prior to the Dragon Boat Race and International Festival hosted in September by the Peachtree City Rotary Club, which uses Drake Field. Likewise the dredging is not expected to affect the August triathlon hosted by the Tri-Peachtree City triathlon club, which also uses the park.

A recent survey showed about 65,000 cubic yards need to be removed from the lake. That is nearly double the amount that had to be removed the last time the lake was dredged in 2003, officials have said.

The dredging process will use barges to pump out the silt onto Drake Field where it can be dried. Once dry, the product will be loaded onto trucks and disposed elsewhere.

The dredging is a requirement of an agreement between the county and the city to maintain the lake, which is city-owned but is used as a drinking water source by the county water system.

The city will be exploring the possibility of putting off the dredging until 2014 when the new Lake McIntosh is expected to be full and available for use by the Dragon Boat and triathlon events.

“I don’t know if a two-year delay is feasible or not, but that certainly opens up other options,” said Councilman George Dienhart.

Several residents asked the city to investigate the source of the silt problem, and Public Works Director Mark Caspar said it is due to naturally-occurring stream bank erosion.

There were also several complaints about the island in the middle of the lake, and Caspar will look into the possibility of clearing the island somewhat. He said city staff could accomplish that task, but he has to make sure whether or not a permit is required from the state.

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