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Tempe Town Lake begins to refill after more than month since draining

Tempe Town Lake has undergone a dramatic facelift. Since February, the city’s famous water mass has been completely drained and, as of Tuesday, it will begin filling with water once again.

The lake will be refilled within two weeks.

Nikki Ripley, spokesperson for the city of Tempe, said the process followed the city’s decision to move the bulk of the lake’s water to another location in order to preserve the lake’s rubber dam structure.

“The reason we had to do that was the the current rubber dam structure — to remove the four original bladders that makeup that dam,” she said. “There’s really no way to do that with water on one side of them.”

Ripley said the project was an effort to preserve the lake’s recreational use. It currently boasts the title of Arizona’s second major tourist attraction — next only to the Grand Canyon.

“The end goal for the project is to maintain Tempe Town Lake for the future,” she said. “It’s been an incredible asset over the 16 years of its history … It has already delivered on its potential that people had envisioned for it.”

Recognizing it as an investment for the area’s future, Ripley said the Tempe community has been patient with the lake’s development.

“We see only potential for it to continue growing, so it was important to have a very long term solution for the (future of) the dam that allows us to keep and grow that asset,” she said.

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