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Lake Peachtree Information and Updates
Dredging Complete - Other Projects Underway

April 18, 2016

Lake Peachtree is officially at full pool!  The City’s vegetation contractor will be back this week with the harvester for cleanup of the mown debris.  The Battery Way dock is scheduled for installation the week of May 2, and that process should take about a week.  Restoration of Drake Field is also progressing, but the park remains closed.  




March 28, 2016

On Thursday, March 24, Fayette County announced that their contractor, Massana, had completed their work in the lake bed for the dredging of Lake Peachtree.  Residents will continue to see Massana in the Drake Field area for a few days as they clean up the work site before turning it over to the City.

Although this is a huge milestone that will allow the lake to begin refilling (the level rose by 18 inches Thursday night), the City of Peachtree City’s work is really just beginning.  Many components of the Lake Peachtree projects will continue in the coming weeks, months, and years.  

As the lake refills, residents will continue to see plant stalks and floating debris from the vegetation removal project in the fall.  Peachtree City’s contractor, Estate Management Services, is scheduled to return in early April (if the lake level is adequate) with the floating harvester to remove this debris.

Peachtree City crews will also begin working on the restoration of Drake Field as a passive park so that it can be enjoyed again as soon as possible.  The installation of the new Battery Way dock, which has been fabricated and delivered, has also been scheduled for late April (pending weather conditions and the pool level of the Lake).

Fishing in Lake Peachtree may take a bit longer, but staff will be working closely with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  Following several months at full pool to allow oxygen levels to stabilize and to let the current fish population readapt to the filled lake, Peachtree City and Fayette County will restock the lake based on DNR recommendations.  

In the near future, the City of Peachtree City will also begin the process of designing the replacement of the spillway, with replacement possibly as early as 2020, with Fayette County contributing $2 million toward that project.

A Brief, Recent History of the Many Lake Peachtree Projects

Lake Peachtree is owned by Peachtree City and managed by Fayette County as part of the Water System.  The lake was originally lowered in January of 2014 for private shoreline and dock maintenance.  During that time, issues with the spillway were discovered.  The Georgia Safe Dams Commission reclassified the dam as a Category 1 structure and refused to allow the Lake to be refilled.  This new classification would have led to significant additional costs to upgrade the dam before the lake could be refilled.

Peachtree City contested the reclassification in the summer of 2014 and initiated more detailed dam breach modeling to assist in the determination.  The State notified the City of the reversal of the dam classification to Category 2 in December 2014.

By that time, Fayette County had issued bids for the planned dredging of lake, and contracts were awarded in January 2015.  Fayette County also proceeded with temporary repairs to the spillway, now allowed due to the return to the Category 2 dam classification, so the lake could be refilled upon completion of the dredging.

And then the rains came.  

In 2015, Peachtree City received an estimated 24 inches of rain above the five-year average rainfall, extending the dredging project by months.  Because it serves as a stormwater collector from a number of streams, Lake Peachtree’s water level could be raised by five to eight feet following a two-inch rain event.  This happened several times during the project, submerging not only the contractor’s equipment, but also the haul roads built to support the weight of the dump trucks removing siltation. 


Status Report
Updated 3/1/2016

Lake Peachtree Progress Report – March 1, 2016

A little rain goes a long way, and last week’s few inches of rain in a couple of days temporarily raised the level of Lake Peachtree by almost eight feet.  This covered not only the remaining silt, but also the haul road to remove the silt.


With that said, the County’s contractor has made progress in removing silt fencing, construction fencing, pilings, and completing all the dredging locations and the work accompanying the City’s refurbishments at the Pinecrest and Battery Way boat ramps.  Once they are able to mobilize again, they are ready to work from sunrise to sunset to remove the remaining silt adjacent to the All Children’s Playground and the haul roads in a 10-day push. 


The City’s vegetation removal contractor has completed the pre-refill work and will return with the floating harvester once the lake has been permanently refilled. The dock at Battery Way will be installed after the lake has refilled as well.




Updated 2/4/2016

Lake Peachtree Update – Dredging Continues, Weather Dependent


At the February 4 City Council Meeting, the City Manager reported that the dredging was moving forward, weather permitting.  He  calculated rainfall was 22 inches above average in 2015.  There was approximately 8,000 cubic yards of silt to be removed in the area around All Children’s Playground, followed by the removal of silt fencing (that was under water at the time) and the haul roads and equipment.  Staff had authorized the contractor to haul 24 hours a day/seven days a week once everything had dried out and they could resume work.

Updated 12/22/2015


Lake Peachtree Update – Progress, But Not Complete


Over the past two weeks, the County’s dredging contractor has had multiple dump trucks and at least two excavators working to remove remaining siltation from the bed of Lake Peachtree.  While very little silt remains in Lake Peachtree to be removed, the constructed haul roads in the lake bed still must be taken out before the lake can be refilled. 

The significant rain amounts expected this week (3” – 4” expected through Friday) will impact completion of the dredging project.

The City’s contractor removing the vegetation has also been doing some hand removal of vegetation around the dock areas and is scheduled to return to full work on December 28 for the remaining areas to be cleared.  At that time, the City’s engineering firms are also scheduled to begin the geotechnical testing on the Spillway as part of its design for replacement in the coming years.  This will prevent the lake having to be lowered again later for the testing, prior to the construction.  Both of these components could also be impacted by the volume of rain over the Christmas holiday.

Updated 11/5/2015



On November 5, the Peachtree City Mayor and Council approved a new Water Franchise Agreement with Fayette County.  The Fayette County Board of Commissioners will consider the agreement at their November 12 meeting.  The contract and presentation are included in the documents below.

Dredging:
 UNDERWAY by the contractor for Fayette County.  Projected completion date is November 2015 (this project has seen significant delays due to the ongoing unseasonable rains in the spring, summer, and fall of 2015).  

Vegetation Removal:  UNDERWAY as of 11/3/2015 by the contractor for Peachtree City. Now that the dredging is finishing up, the vegetation removal can begin without interfering with the County's contractor.  Vegetation cutting will take 3 - 4 weeks.  After the lake begins to refill, the City's contractor will return and harvest the floating debris over two to three cycles.

Dam & Spillway:  Fayette County's temporary Repairs have been COMPLETED, which will allow the lake to be refilled as soon as the dredging project is completed. 

Battery Way Dock:  The manufactured dock has been completed and delivered to the City.  It will be installed once the lake has refilled.

History
January - March 2014
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 was delayed after Peachtree City staff noted problems with the spillway and brought those to the attention of Fayette County.   

April
Fayette County had a geotechnical engineering firm assess the dam and spillway in April. Staffs of both the City and County developed a plan for temporary repairs (via a process called pressure grouting) to allow the lake to be refilled, with the long-term goal of designing replacement spillway.  The proposal was presented to the state Safe Dams department for their review.  

May - June
Fayette County is having additional assessments and analysis performed for submission to the State.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources classified the dam as a Category 1 (meaning a breach could cause loss of life downstream).  The City and the County have 30 days to appeal the classification.

July
The City and County passed a joint resolution to appeal the Category 1 classification and has filed the petition for an administrative hearing.  The County has provided an estimated timeline for the dry dredging of the lake, with the project beginning in January 2015 and ending in May 2015. 

December
The Category 2 Dam Classification was officially reinstated.

March 2015
Fayette County began the dredging project and began making temporary repairs to the spillway.  Completion was originally estimated as May 2015, but rains have delayed the dredging process.  Unseasonable rains have extended the dredging into November.

November 2015
Peachtree City's contractor began removal of the overgrown vegetation in the lake bed as dredging efforts were coming to a close.  The cut material will be harvested from the water surface in two to three phases as the lake refills.