Morgan O’Keefe, 11, at left, and Kerston Moss, 8, feed the geese at Lake Murphey Candler.

The city of Brookhaven has tapped an Atlanta firm to study Murphey Candler Lake and the drainage basin that feeds into it.

In addition to the study of the Nancy Creek watershed, the aim of the project is to evaluate existing conditions at Murphey Candler Lake, identify problems and threats to the lake, identify causes of such problems and threats, determine strategies for improving water quality and restoring the shoreline, and identify potential funding sources for lake planning and maintenance.

Brookhaven councilmen at their March 24 meeting gave unanimous approval to a $203,315.47 contract with Sustainable Water Planning and Engineering LLC to study the Nancy Creek watershed beyond the limits of Murphey Candler Lake and its associated drainage basin.

The firm was among six companies that responded to the city’s request for quotation for the project. A selection committee of city officials reviewed and scored the submittals, with the top three firms chosen to interview with the committee in December. SWP&E was ranked the top firm among the three, and the committee recommended that the city enter into negotiations with company.

SWP&E will develop a watershed improvement plan for the Nancy Creek watershed that will include a prioritized capital improvement plan list of best management practices, projects and tasks that would be effective in improving conditions throughout the watershed.

Shane Day Boyer, president of the Murphey Candler Park Conservancy, said his group was aware of the study and its importance to the lake. “We certainly hope to have input in the process,” he said.

City officials during discussions last year estimated that the study would take about six months and that a public input process could extend the time period.

Murphey Candler Lake was created in 1954 and is one of Brookhaven’s most active recreational areas. The lake, fed by a drainage basin on the north fork of Nancy Creek, serves as a stormwater detention basin for a large portion of north DeKalb County and parts of eastern Fulton County.

–Jon Gargis