Bottoms up at the Bricktown Canal

Wednesday, January 23rd 2008, 6:15 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther and Darren Brown, INsite Team

The Bricktown Canal is a downtown Oklahoma City staple, but for the next few weeks it will be without its three million gallon water supply.

Every couple years, the parks department drains the canal and then scours and scrubs the bottom.

"We get at it with heavy machinery, we move the mud, remove it, and then we come out with fire hoses later on and give it a really good power washing," Jennifer McClintock, Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman said.

McClintock said it's necessary to give the canal a ‘bath' to maintain the water quality and inspect for damage. The entire process takes about three weeks. When the city drains the mile-long canal it's quite a sight but it's what's left stuck in the mud, like lost clothing, that's really interesting. Scouring through all the mud and muck is definitely a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

"Well, we got a baby stroller, some cans, some bottles, some sunglasses, some kid's Walkie Talkie," city employee Jim Slover said. "They say another man's junk is another man's treasure. Well, I can't do much with that pop bottle."

A less than honest person though, might be interested in a wallet, like the one the INsite Team found belonging to someone from Alaska.

"This year when the crews came in there we were really surprised we didn't find as much as we had expected," McClintock said.

The city drains the canal during winter to avoid the potential impact on tourism. It should be back to normal by Valentine's Day weekend.