By Natalie Anderson
SALISBURY – The city plans to fill an abandoned sewer pipe running below City Park Lake next week to repair a leak that the crews drained the lake through last week.
Nick Aceves, director of parks and recreation, and Chris Tester, assistant director of public works, said Wednesday that staff had detected a low water level and suspected a leak from a sewer line that was present during the lake’s construction in the late 1930s . The city then drained the lake but will have to wait for the water to match the pipe before it can plug the abandoned pipe. Aceves reckoned it would take a day or two for the water to drain completely.
When the 3 acre lake is full, it is 10 to 12 feet deep.
Tester said there was no prior knowledge that the old sewer had not been filled. Workers on Monday will dig on both sides of the line and eventually fill the pipe with either concrete or expansion foam to “get into an angle we can’t see,” he added. The cost of the repair is currently unknown as the city is considering two different contractors.
“We’re just trying to fix it asap,” said Tester.
He assumes that the lake could be replenished and available by the end of the week.
Although the drainage likely killed some of the fish, Tester said most of the trout kept in the lake by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission was caught earlier this year. The replenishment of the spring fish was looked for on Monday but it will now be delayed. This stock will include grass carp to keep vegetation low, bream, perch and catfish.
Aceves said some fish are also likely to travel to deeper areas of the lake, away from the pipe, or stay in the creek that runs along the side of the park.
Wednesday’s leak comes just months after the lake underwent a renovation as part of a $ 450,000 project spanning two budget cycles. In 2019 the lake was dredged and drainage entrances added to prevent further sludge formation. Other improvements include the implementation of a 96 square meter wooden pier that includes a deck in the middle of the lake, as well as the removal of invasive plants in the area above the lake.
Call reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.