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Tempe Town Lake Continues To Drain

Tempe Town Lake
(Photo by Paul Atkinson - KJZZ)
Tempe Town Lake.

Earlier this month, crews began the process of removing the water from Tempe Town Lake. It’s a slow process — but there’s a good reason for that.

Less than half of the lake has already been drained — that translates to about half a foot of water each day.

Kris Baxter-Ging with the city of Tempe said the slow drain was planned; the city wanted to reuse the water, so they worked with SRP to move the water into the canal system.

But according to Baxter-Ging SRP has a capacity.

"We can’t surpass that capacity," she said. "So because we want to conserve that water and use it, we are working under mathematical restrictions."

Baxter-Ging said the water will be used to irrigate lawns, parks and gardens. Once the lake is completely drained, crews will be able to start work on the new dam.

The city is already warning people to avoid the area during that time; it’s a no-trespassing zone and violators will be ticketed.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.