The Centennial Park pond will be mostly drained next week for a much needed cleaning and upgrade.
The popular duck pond has not been cleaned since it was created in 1986, said Mark Boblitt, Cortez parks superintendent.
“The build-up of wastes has become a health hazard,” he said.
The accumulation of silt and organics have lowered the water level and contributed to erosion on the banks.
Also due to a lack of circulation at the pond, algae has built up due to the stagnant water, reducing oxygen levels in the water for fish.
To solve the problem, a new pump system will be installed to allow for the inflow of fresh MVI ditch water and outflow of pond water. The project is being done in-house, and the pump and piping is expected to cost $4,000.
“The health of the pond and wildlife will greatly improve,” Boblitt said. “The new system will give the lake regular fresh water, which it does not get now.”
The draining will take place on Sept. 23 and public access will be restricted in that area. The silt and organic wastes will be left until it freezes over this winter to allow for crews and equipment to safely remove it.
The shoreline will be rebuilt and reinforced with rip-rap.
The pond is a well-known water hazard for the Frisbee golf course. It has taken many Frisbees in the 15 years since the course was installed.
“I know (city manager) Shane Hale has lost a few in there! The muck sinks down for many feet where the frisbees are. It really needs to be removed,” Boblitt said.
Some water will be left in the lake for the ducks. Fish captured will be relocated to Denny Lake if deemed healthy.
“We appreciate the public’s patience while we make these improvements,” Boblitt said.