Sahuarita Lake to be Refilled

Nov 14th, 2013 | By | Category: Lead Article

After studying possible repairs and consulting with experts, Sahuarita town officials have decided to refill the leaky Sahuarita Lake until they have a solution. The decision was made partly because the town prepaid $10,000 for the lake to be stocked with fish, but it can’t be stocked while water
levels are 2-3 feet below normal, said Parks and Recreation Director Debbie Summers.

At a Sahuarita Town Council meeting Monday, Assistant Town Engineer Sheila Bowen said an inspection of the lake wall found “137 locations of noteworthy irregularities.” The inspection was done in July after town staff noticed saturated soil around the wall of the man-made, 12-year-old
lake. They dug down and found leaking, Bowen said. Water use was up by 5 acre feet compared to a year earlier. Among the problems are cracks and settling, which “could eventually result in structural issues with the wall,” Bowen told the Town Council. A consultant estimated the cost to
repair the known cracks — which could only be half of the actual cracks — is $227,000, she said. And many contractors aren’t willing to warranty the work.

Bowen recommended making some of the easy repairs, such as filling minor cracks, and then refilling the lake. The town will continue to watch the water loss and study repair strategies. It will take up to two months to fill the lake to its normal level. Keep in mind that the lake is owned by the
town, not by Rancho Sahuarita. Many Rancho homeowners have expressed concern that the issues with the lake may lead to an increase in HOA dues, but this is a town of Sahuarita expense. HOA dues seem to go up every year, but an increase in 2014 shouldn’t be attributed to the lake issue.

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