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City cleaning muck in lakes at Reid Park

NORMAN PECKHAM Citizen Staff Writer

To improve Reid Park’s two lakes, muck and debris will be cleaned from the bottoms of the lakes, city officials say.

The south lake has been drained, while the north lake has so far been partially drained, said Andy Sanchez, a Tucson Parks and Recreation Department official overseeing the cleanup.

”The lakes have gotten to the point where it’s not so desirable to be around. We’ve got a lot of algae growth, which isn’t very attractive,” Sanchez said.

After the lakes are drained, sediment will be scraped from the bottoms, he said.

The bigger of the lakes – the north lake – had paddle boats on it, but those were removed several months ago, Sanchez said.

It’s unclear whether the small boats will be put back on the lake after the cleanup, he said. That’s an issue that will have to be evaluated, he added.

In a memo to the City Council, Assistant City Manager Liz R. Miller said the paddle boats will ”not return until we have determined the long-term strategy for the lakes.”

Fish from the north lake, which covers 2.2 acres, will be removed and taken to a lake at Christopher Columbus Park, 4600 N. Silverbell Road, Sanchez said.

Small numbers of fish were in the south lake, but they were moved into the north lake.

The ducks at the lakes, meanwhile, will ”readapt” to their surroundings, Sanchez said, noting that Reid Park Zoo is ”right next door.”

The man-made islands in the lakes, which have ”negatively contributed in the past to the duck overpopulation,” will be removed, Miller said in her memo.

”This will allow a skimmer to be used in the future to clean debris off the lake on a more frequent basis,” Miller wrote.

Her memo said the lakes will be treated with agents that will clear up the excess algae and ”bind up the phosphorous in the sediment, making it unavailable for algae.”

Sanchez didn’t know how much the cleanup will cost, but said the lakes should be refilled by February’s end.

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