Assistant City Manager Tim Grizzard said silt builds up because water flows into the lake from streams and open land during rains, carrying sediment that falls out in the coves.
“It’s not a huge part of the lake volume, but it’s enough to impact recreational activities,” Grizzard said. “The lake was built in the late 1940s and has had only a superficial dredging once before.”
He said the silt is mostly sand and, according to a recent survey, about 50,000 cubic yards of silt needs to be removed.
“Years ago, the law only allowed mechanical dredging,” Grizzard said. “That’s done with a clamshell dipping it into a barge, letting it de-water on the barge and then moving it to shore to be hauled away by trucks. It costs more than $20 per cubic yard to remove.”
He said the city will instead use a newer form of dredging, using a pump to pull the silt from the lake, then piping it to a seven-acre containment pond on the city-owned Costley property across Stewart Street from the lake.
“We have about seven acres outlined to receive the material,” he said. “We’ll let it de-water in the holding pond. When it’s done, we’ll level out the land, plant grass on it and it will look like a meadow.”
Grizzard said the entire project will cost about $500,000. He said the old method would cost four times that amount, not including the costs involved in trucking it away. He said it would take about six months to finish the dredging work.
“Once the work is complete, we’ll have more depth to run boats in the coves,” he said.
Grizzard said final changes are being made to project specifications, and it will probably go out for bidding in August.
“Stream flow is usually down in the fall, and we really want to wait until after summer recreation activity is over,” he said.
Lake Carroll is a 171-acre lake, popular year-round for fishing and boating. Fish in the lake include largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and several species of sunfish bream. Boat access is available by a concrete ramp and outboard motors are allowed. Boat users must purchase annual permits from the city. Bank access is available for fishing, but is limited since much of the lake frontage is private property. No city permit is required for fishing, but a Georgia Fish & Wildlife license is needed.