Ken Bleakly points out the Lake Forrest dam.

A lake in an area shared by both the cities of Sandy Springs and Atlanta, on Lake Forrest Drive, will be drained because the dam creating it is unsafe, Sandy Springs city officials said in a statement released May 19.

Sandy Springs will begin on May 21 a phased siphoning of water from the primary lake created by Lake Forrest Dam.

The lake will be reduced up to 50 percent of its capacity, as the cities of Sandy Springs and Atlanta negotiate an agreement over the needed repairs.

The 60-year-old dam, recognized by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a Category I Dam, has several deficiencies, Sandy Springs officials said in a statement released May 19. The reduction of the lake is a safety measure.

“If the dam were to fail, it could lead to loss of life downstream,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said. “We no longer feel we can wait due to the potential for catastrophic failure, so Sandy Springs, at its own expense, will being siphoning water from the lake….”

Schnabel Engineering will oversee the draining of the lake, monitoring the dam during the reduction process. The lake is expected to be fully drained following approval of an agreement between officials from Atlanta and Sandy Springs on the repairs.