Lake Peachtree vegetation removal approved

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Due to the abundance of rain this summer, the dredging of Lake Peachtree is now expected to be completed by Oct. 19 according to Peachtree City officials.

The contractor is now working in the final dredging area in inlets on the western side of the lake that are not visible from Hwy.y 54.

Lake Peachtree, which serves as both a water reservoir and a recreation area, is also a stormwater basin that receives runoff from four major streams in addition to Flat Creek. As such, much of the ground around all these tributaries remains saturated well after a rain event, which impacts the contractor’s ability to put out heavy dredging equipment on the day of a heavy rain and for one to two days afterward.

The extremely wet summer has not only delayed the dredging project itself; it has also provided ideal conditions for the growth of both upland and marsh plants and trees in the lake bed that would impact the lake after refilling. The density and volume of plant life that would die and decay when the lake is refilled would negatively impact the water quality of the lake and cause a fish kill. Additionally, trees like the black willow, which have grown to over eight feet tall this summer, would continue to survive and extend above the surface of the filled lake.

The City Council approved a $50,000 contract with Estate Management Services for the removal of vegetation on the exposed 101 acres of the bed of Lake Peachtree. Peachtree City is hoping to schedule the vegetation removal during the final week of dredging so that plants do not have time to reestablish before the lake begins to refill and so that the vegetation removal does not delay refilling the lake.

Estate Management, which specializes in work in marshy areas and drained ponds and lakes, will perform the vegetation removal in two phases – the cutting of the plants and trees in the lake bed will take place during a one- to two-week period prior to the lake refilling, and the cut material will be left in place. As the lake refills, Estate Management will return one or more times to harvest the floating debris from the lake.

Once the lake has been refilled, Peachtree City will install the new pier at Battery Way. The city will restock the lake with both grass-eating carp (to keep the aquatic vegetation in check) and sport fish. Restocking will be done in phases based on recommendations from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Fayette County is participating in the costs of the grass carp to help keep aquatic vegetation in check in the reservoir in addition to contracting for the dredging project.