Peachtree City Officials Vote Whether to Mow Lake

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Officials say vegetatiion in Lake Peachtree could cause massive fish kill when the lake is refilled this winter. 

When you look at Lake Peachtree you see a lot of green. Tall green plants, not blue water; it looks more like a coastal wetlands than a metro Atlanta lake.

Thursday night, the Peachtree City will council will vote on whether to spend $50,000 to mow the dry lake bed before they attempt to refill Lake Peachtree this winter.

“It will decay. The decay will cause some temporary impact on the water quality and will kill the fish. Some of has grown so tall with the wet summer that we’ve had that it will continue to extend above the water lever,” said Peachtree City spokesperson Betsy Tyler.

When the city tried to mow the lake bed, the tractor sank in quicksand-like muck.

How did this jewel of the South become so overgrown?

In 2014, the city drained the lake to allow residents to repair boat docks and seawalls. They noticed then that the spill was damaged. Wrangling between Peachtree City and Fayette County ensued over who would pay the tab. The city owns the lake, but the county pays to take drinking water from it. Meantime, the lake also needed dredging. That works continues on the county’s dime and has been bogged down by heavy rains this summer that has also caused heavy equipment to sink.

All the while, the vegetation has grown like, well like weeds, on the exposed lake bed.

Some of the weeds are over six feet tall here. In some places on the dry lake bed the vegetation is 8 to 9 feet tall.

If approved the city would pay a contractor from coastal Georgia to cut down the weed and after the lake fills to skim the top to take out the floating vegetation.

“One more Labor Day and we will have it back I think,” Tyler said.

So, on this last weekend of summer, the lake remains dry and overgrown. If all goes well, it could be ready for the summer of 2016.