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SKANEATELES — Skaneateles' high school graduation ceremony and other summer activities will continue to take place at Clift Park this summer in the midst of construction activity.

The city of Syracuse is executing what officials are calling a critical infrastructure project, expected to be completed in October, to replace the chemical feed lines in the raw water supply intakes from Skaneateles Lake, Skaneateles Director of Municipal Operations Shannon Harty said.

"The city of Syracuse actually chlorinates the water out at the intakes out in the lake. They do it for disinfection and they do it for zebra mussel control," Harty said. "The chlorination starts right from the minute they pull it out of the lake, and it's really important to the village of Skaneateles that that happens because that contact time with the chlorination is critical for us to serve our customers."

Skaneateles Lake is the source for Syracuse's public water system, and several other area municipalities, including Skaneateles, tap into that system for their own supplies.

Harty explained that the chlorination feed system for the first of the "two massive intakes" — intake No. 2 — is already completed. She added that intake No. 2 was built in 1938 and is 4,200 feet from shore. Now the city is moving on to replace the system of intake No. 1, built back in 1893 and 6,400 feet from shore. Due to the piping out to intake No. 1 being longer, Harty said it will take more time to complete.

Components of the system being replaced include chlorine gas feed lines, water service lines, raw and treated water sampling lines, chlorine/fluoride solution lines, as well as other aspects such as anchors, valves and other necessary accessories. 

Although the project will be continuing throughout the entire summer, Harty said that the footprint of the work site inside the park will not grow and all regular summer activities will still take place with a few adaptions. 

"We've done a great job coordinating with the (high) school," Harty said, referring to Sunday's graduation ceremony. "Everybody has really been understanding and we've worked cooperatively together to figure out an alternate layout for this year's graduation and I think it's going to work out really well."

In the past, the graduation stage has been set up near the park's gazebo, Harty said, but for the commencement ceremony on Sunday the school essentially just flipped the layout by planning to place the stage on the park's western side, by Shotwell Memorial Park.

The yearly antique boat show will still take place at Clift Park this summer, as well, just with a few layout adaptions, Harty explained. She added that the construction has "no impact at all" on the summer swim area or weddings and events taking place at the gazebo.

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Staff writer Megan Ehrhart can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or megan.ehrhart@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @MeganEhrhart.

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