Work underway to improve Augusta's ponds

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Thursday, March 08, 2018
(News 12 at 5:30)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Heirs Pond looks more like puddles after years of sediment building up in there. It took the city seven years just to get the permit to start the work to get the sediment out. Now, they say they're getting started and it's going to make a big difference for this community.

"The pond right now, like you said, it kind of looks like a swamp,"

John Acevedo has lived by Heirs Pond his whole life... it looks a lot different now than it used to.

"In the past, there's definitely been a lot less vegetation in the pond."

Sediment is flowing downstream from Flowing Wells and Wrightsboro Road into the pond. From Heirs Pond to Lake Aumond, then to Lake Olmstead.

For nearly a decade, the city has been working to dredge these bodies of water.

“As you can see, there's barely any water here in this pond and it's just so important that we get it back to its natural state and then continue to maintain it so the drainage is there and also the beautification," said District 3 Commissioner Mary Davis.

Commissioner Davis has been trying to help move efforts along for five years. Not only is this not a pretty site, but also a flooding concern too.

"When it rains heavily this is a pretty bad place to be and it continues all the way down to Lake Olmstead."

The city had to get approvals from the state, EPA, and more. Congressman Rick Allen had to help, too.

Now the permits are in, and the city can move forward with the $4.8 million project to clean out these ponds.

"Yes, the drainage system is not good here at all, so this will help out in so many different aspects of the neighborhood and also again throughout the drainage system down to Lake Olmstead.”

A project years in the making that will clean up the water, the neighborhoods, and get things running smoothly once again.

"I think it would be a good thing for the neighborhood and the community so the sediment would be safe to be around."

The engineering director says this project is going to take four months or so, then the work will start on the Lake Aumond project, but that could be 2019. We'll keep you updated on all of the progress.