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Fayette to seek bids for dredging silt buildup from Lake Peachtree

The Fayette County Water System has gotten permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the dredging of Lake Peachtree.

With that blessing, the county is looking to select a project manager to oversee the bidding process and actual work by a contractor. The project is expected to take six months and most likely will involve the use of barges so the lake’s level won’t have to be lowered.

The dredging process removes silt that has washed into the lake from locations upstream where erosion has occurred. Once the silt is dried, it is trucked to an off-site disposal location.

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. It is not known at this time if that will be repeated.

The lake is owned by Peachtree City, but a 1985 agreement allows the county to use it as a source of drinking water. That agreement requires the county to undertake a survey every eight years for silt intrusion, and if the survey indicates dredging is necessary, the county must foot the bill. Last January, the county commission approved paying for the $17,500 survey.

The county can pump up to 4 million gallons a day from Lake Peachtree, which is connected to the county-owned upstream reservoir, Lake Kedron.

The dredging process will prevent Lake Peachtree water from being used for drinking water to avoid problems with total organic carbons, which were blamed at Starr’s Mill pond as the culprit for the smelly drinking water problems that plagued the water system in June.

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