Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility crews are hoping to have Campbell Lake back to normal in less than a week, after partially draining it to repair a sewer pipe dislodged by the Nov. 30 earthquake.

The work, which began a week and a half ago, was part of a two-month-long project which began in mid-March. The work is expected to be complete by Wednesday.

"We've drained it as much as we can," said AWWU spokesperson Sandy Baker. "People were expecting maybe just to have the creek, but obviously the lake has not gone down to just the creek. We had to come in and build a dam around it, around the pipe that we had to fix."

It's a reminder of the long-lasting effects of the region's now-infamous 7.1 earthquake.

At first nothing appeared wrong at the lake. But on March 14 it became evident there was trouble, when AWWU got a call that the sewer pipe which is supposed to be buried three feet below the floor of the lake was jutting up.

Now they're closing in on a finish time. On Wednesday 320,000 pounds of cement was poured as anchors will help reinforce the pipe. One section of the pipe is new, but there was nothing structurally wrong with the other part.

"You'll see we've got tarps down and we've got fabric down and there's fabric underneath this dirt we're standing on, it all has to come back up and then we'll start to put the gates back in the pipes so the dam can do its job and fill the lake back up."

The significance of Campbell Lake extends past a nice place to where to recreate. It serves as a conduit for salmon travel from Cook Inlet to Campbell Creek.

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