UPDATED — Spillway problems delay Lake Peachtree refill

Flat Creek meanders through what was Lake Peachtree in a photo taken in early March. Photo/Ben Nelms.

UPDATED for print April 5 — The refilling of Lake Peachtree has been delayed due to problems with the spillway that will require repairs, city officials said last week.

The lake was lowered in January to allow property owners on the shoreline to maintain their shoreline and docks. The plan was to have the lake refilled in March.

But a recent safety inspection on the spillway showed that repairs are necessary, and it will take about three weeks for tests to be conducted to determine how best to repair the problem, officials said.

The spillway regulates the water level in the lake.

The lake, while owned by the city, serves as a reservoir for the Fayette County Water System. The repair process is not expected to adversely affect the usage of the lake as a reservoir, according to Water System Director Lee Pope.

Pope said the Piedmont Geotechnical engineering firm will inspect the spillway and provide recommendations on the best way to move forward with repairs.

“I don’t see any long term serious impacts,” Pope said.

Pope said his office is working closely with City Engineer David Borkowski on the matter.

While the testing is undertaken, the water system will work to raise the level of the lake to a safe point either at or below the bottom of the spillway, officials said.

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Earlier version — City Hall sent out a notice April 2: expect what was Lake Peachtree to remain mostly muddy flats for at least another three weeks. The cause? Unexpected repairs needed for the lake’s spillway at the southern end, the city’s website said.

“During the time Lake Peachtree was lowered, the city of Peachtree City and the Fayette County Water System performed a safety inspection on the spillway that regulates the water level in the lake. The safety inspection revealed the need to make repairs to the spillway,” the public notice said.

“County and city staff are working diligently to complete the necessary testing to develop an acceptable means of repair. This process will take approximately three weeks,” the public notice said.

Even then, the lake won’t be back to its normal level. “Once an acceptable means of repair is developed, staff will be better able to forecast when the lake can be returned to normal pool level. Until that time, staff will work to raise the level of the lake to a safe point at or below the bottom of the spillway,” the notice said.

“The water level of Lake Peachtree in central Peachtree City was lowered in January to allow property owners along the western shoreline to perform regular maintenance to their shoreline and docks. Refilling the lake was expected to begin at the end of March. That date has been delayed,” the city website said.

The city apologized for the delay, in effect saying safety issues trumped aesthetics.

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