Knoxville — Progress has been made on Marion County Conservation's project to rehabilitate the lake at the County Park in Knoxville.
Conservation Director Steve Edwards said that the lake was built in 1961. When constructed, the maximum depth of the lake was at 24 feet.
Prior to the lake being drained last fall, the maximum depth of the lake had fallen to eight feet. That eight feet was in one small, specific area of the lake. Average depth of the lake prior to it being drained was 3.5 feet.
"You could probably have walked across it," Edwards said.
In response, Conservation has been working to try to rehabilitate the lake and bring it back to what it originally was. Although the 24-foot depth will not be attained again, Edwards is hopeful that the process will bring the lake's depth back to an average of 16-18 feet.
A six-inch gate valve, inside of a gate pipe, was replaced in May 2013. The gate valve was broken. A sill dam and silt retention basin was also completed in September 2013. Work on this project was done in November 2013.
The search was on for the drain line around the same time. It was discovered 18 feet down, under approximately 50,000 cubic feet of silt. Conservation is hopeful that the new dam and retention basin will help avoid silt buildup inside the lake when it is refilled.
Brian Morrissey Surveying and Consulting will be paid up to $7,000 to survey and consult on the project to complete other lake upgrades. Engineering should be completed May 1.
Edwards added that part of the design process include a fishing jetty, a hard-packed granular surface, that will go 70 feet into the water, to make fishing more accessible. The project should go out for bids in later May, with work beginning in July. All of this is weather-dependent.