Section: CAPITAL REGION,  Page: B4

Date: Saturday, November 18, 1995

ALBANY The city is partially draining Washington Park Lake this week to repair a broken 19th century sewer line.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Richard Barrett said the draining started Thursday and it was expected to take two days to bring the lake's level down about two feet. People, he said, will probably notice ``a bathtub ring around the lake'' for the next week while the work is being done. The source of the trouble is a sewer line built in the late 1800s that drains an area of about a square mile west of the park. The line, which has created trouble in the past, is a brick arch that runs along the south side of the lake, passing under a line of three huge European copper beech trees.

The trees' roots, he said, tend to work their way into the mortar, loosening the brick.

The city realized there was a problem when a 10-square-foot section of earth near one of the trees collapsed, and further inspection revealed a four foot by five foot break in the line.

The lake draining won't have any impact on the domesticated ducks and geese that make their home there each year; the city was already in the process of capturing them and moving them to their winter home at the city-owned Stevens Farm off Delaware Avenue. Out of 13 waterfowl in the lake, 11 have been caught.