The need to repair the Lake Peachtree spillway has kept the lake’s level lower far longer than planned, but the city is hoping for approval of a temporary fix to allow the lake to be refilled in a shorter time frame.
The decision rests with the Georgia Safe Dams program, which is a division of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, City Manager Jim Pennington told the City Council Thursday night. The city hopes to have an answer next week, which will determine whether the temporary repairs will be allowed.
If not, there’s a chance the lake could remain at its low, shabby-looking level for some time until the spillway could be permanently replaced.
Above, right, if only it looked this good . . . Photo of Ga. Highway 54 bridge taken in January across a then-draining Lake Peachtree. Since then, the lake bed has become mostly a mud flat with a small stream running through it. Photo/Ben Nelms.
Councilwoman Kim Learnard said the continued low level of the lake is the question on everyone’s mind.
“The number-one question I get now is ‘What in the world is wrong with the lake?’” Learnard said.
Pennington said one big question is how the timeline might affect the city’s annual International Festival and Dragon Boat Race, slated for Sept. 27.
“Today we do not have an answer,” Pennington said. “The issue is Lake McIntosh will not hold the capacity or the setup for the dragon boats as I have been told as of today.”
Pennington promised that he would let council know quickly once the city gets an answer from Safe Dams.
If the temporary repairs are approved, the plan is to get a timeline to design a brand-new spillway, officials said.
The project is being overseen by both Peachtree City and Fayette County officials, because the city owns the lake and the county water system uses it as a drinking water reservoir.
The lake was lowered in February to allow time for dock and shoreline maintenance and has remained low after the spillway problems were first discovered several weeks ago.