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Filled up

Water clears Summit Lake spillway, cosmetic work will take time

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:21 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:39 a.m. CDT
Plant growth on the south side of Highway 25 by Summit Lake sticks out above the water line. The growth took over after Summit Lake was drained in 2009. The spillway project is complete, but cosmetic work will take a while.

In April, Creston Water Works and the city of Creston were stuck in a waiting game with Mother Nature.

Dry weather had slowed the refill process at Summit Lake after the completion of the spillway reconstruction project.

Late this spring, water finally ran over the spillway signifying Summit Lake was full.

“It was empty for so long, now that the lake is full, that stuff sticking out of the water gives the illusion it isn’t full,” interim Creston Water Works Manager and Water Plant Manager Steve Yarkosky said.

Project summary

Summit Lake was lowered in October of 2009 to begin work on the shoreline and spillway. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources also performed a fish kill to remove nuisance fish, the most detrimental being common carp.

Darin Jacobs of Snyder and Associates engineering firm reshaped and added large bands of rip rap to the shoreline to help stabilize and prevent erosion.

Work along the shoreline was completed in March of 2011.

The spillway project began in May of 2011. The two wing walls were completed by December.

It was constructed vertically to prevent nuisance fish from swimming up the spillway.

“It is the exact same height as the old one,” Yarkosky said.

Yarkosky said during the entire project precautions were taken to make sure the spillway stayed the same size and markers were set to gauge water levels.

Work on the spillway was completed in August, but the 2012 drought slowed the refilling process.

“There is still some cosmetic work,” Yarkosky said. “But for the most part, the project is complete.”

Plant growth

Yarkosky said he would like to remove or trim some of the plant growth to help speed the process of returning Summit Lake to normal, but letting the growth drown out will be most effective.

“It’s just going to take time,” Yarkosky said.

Green Valley State Park Ranger Alan Carr said while Green Valley Lake was down in 2008, it experienced similar plant growth that is in Summit Lake.

“We did not get the woody vegetation that you see in Summit,” Carr said.

Some of the plant growth at Green Valley Lake is still visible around the edges, but Carr said having water on top of the plants for a solid year and a good winter should kill the growth.

Currently, Green Valley Lake is just below full.

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