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City Of Tempe To Refill Town Lake Starting Tuesday

Tempe Town Lake's new dam
(Photo courtesy of Tempe)
Tempe Town Lake's new dam.

The city of Tempe is preparing to refill Tempe Town Lake starting Tuesday. With the new steel dam in place, crews are wrapping up construction and ensuring the lake infrastructure is in good shape.

It’ll take about two weeks to refill the lake. It was drained last month as part of the city’s dam replacement project, and will hold 880 million gallons of water —  slightly less than with the previous dam.

Kris Baxter-Ging,  is with the city of Tempe, said the water, which will travel from the Salt River Project reservoir system, will cost the city very little.

"We did what we call water exchange credits with the Salt River Project," said Baxter-Ging. "We gave them over 400 million gallons of water into their canal system. They are giving all of that back us."

The city also has a reserve of water from its additional storage capacity at Roosevelt Dam. It received credit for that, as well. Baxter-Ging says the new dam is a quote long term solution and is expected to last more than 50 years without major repairs.

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.