At 9:45 pm on Tuesday, July 20th, one section of the inflatable dam at Tempe Town Lake burst releasing 750 million gallons into the Salt River. Since it occured at night nobody was on the lake and one visitor at the west end of the lake was able to capture the release on video. The day after the failure, the Town of Tempe and Bridgestone, the manufacturer of the inflatable bladders, squared off and each offered explanations of why the other party was at fault. Obviously, something went wrong somewhere because according to the Town of Tempe website, “The bladders have special ozone and ultraviolet ray protection from the southwestern climate and have been tested extensively for durability.” Bridgestone contends improper maintenance since the bladders need to be kept moist and cool through the use of a sprinkler system that was not being used at the time of the failure, while the Town of Tempe Mayor counters that the poor design of the dam made it difficult to use the sprinklers effectively.
Tempe Town Lake Condos
Tempe Town lakefront condo developments will need to wait until the first part of November 2010 to see their waterfront views completely restored. This will impact such developments as Bridgeview, Edgewater on the south shore, and Northshore on the opposite side.The city would like to have the lake filled as not to interupt the annual Ironman Arizona Triathalon that takes place every November. The water to fill the lake originally was purchased from the Central Arizona Project. The lake capacity is approximately 1 billion gallons.
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