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Fountain City Lake's Enthusiastic Patrons Share Ideas at Public Meeting 
Mayor Madeline Rogero on Aug. 25 updates stakeholders of Fountain City Lake on City's efforts to renovate the lake.
Mayor Madeline Rogero at an Aug. 25 public meeting updates stakeholders of Fountain City Lake on the City's efforts to renovate the lake.

Big turnout - a full house at the Lions Club Building in Fountain City Park! - on Tuesday evening, as City of Knoxville officials offered a public meeting to update stakeholders on what’s been done so far to repair the infrastructure at Fountain City Lake, and what steps are next.

“A lasting solution requires commitment to a long-term plan," Mayor Madeline Rogero said. "The City is repairing the lake’s infrastructure and developing a management plan. Once those are completed by next summer, we’ll need the help of community partners going forward to maintain a healthy lake.”

Mayor Rogero, City Council members, City engineers, experts with environmental engineering firm LDA Engineering, and Fountain City residents and lake stakeholders shared ideas at Tuesday’s public meeting.

One of the proposed solutions is to eliminate the shallow area of the lake, which produces much of the lake's algae, by turning some of the lake’s northern end into a wetland area. Other discussions Tuesday focused on ways the community can get involved and raise funds for further enhancements to the lake and park.

Fountain City Lake suffers from excess algae growth. LDA Engineering identifies three major culprits:

- Feces from too many waterfowl, compounded by public feedings;
- Shallow, stagnant, warm water;
- An imbalanced ecosystem.

Mayor Rogero and City Council included $250,000 for improvements in the 2014-15 budget, and work began last fall with the repair of a leak in the earthen berm that surrounds the 125-year-old manmade but spring-fed lake. Crews have repeatedly drained, treated and taken measurements of the lake, and fish have been relocated from Fountain City Lake to the pond at Victor Ashe Park with the help of TWRA.

The next steps in the long-term improvements of the lake will include:

Fall 2015: The lake level will be lowered during a naturally dry cycle. The number of water fowl will begin to be reduced. Lake sediment and rooted algae will be removed. Construction of the wetland area will begin.

Winter 2015 / spring 2016: Upgrades will be made to the fountain system and pumphouse to increase aeration, which adds oxygen to the water, agitates the water surface and reduces stagnation – all helpful in combatting algae growth.

Spring / summer 2016: The wetland area will be planted with native species. The lake will be restocked with triploid grass carp and blue tilapia to control aquatic vegetation. Chemical algaecide will be sparingly applied if needed.

For more details about Tuesday's meeting, visit ​http://www.knoxvilletn.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=109562&pageId=572475.
Posted by evreeland On 26 August, 2015 at 1:16 PM