Category Archives: News

Updated Opening Date:May 2020

Just in from our friends at Loudoun Water:

Beaverdam Reservoir Water Access to Re-Open

Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks are pleased to announce that recreational activities on Beaverdam Reservoir will be allowed in May 2020. Public access will be located at the Mount Hope Road entrance. The exact date will be determined soon. Once open, Beaverdam Reservoir is typically open from dawn to dusk daily. Hours can vary based on the season. Please note parking may be limited.

Beaverdam Reservoir is first and foremost a source of public drinking water. Loudoun Water has partnered with NOVA Parks to manage recreational activities and public access. To ensure users can safely enjoy the reservoir, refer to the NOVA Parks website for a full list of rules and regulations:

Meanwhile, Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks are moving forward with the sustainable, innovative design of the future “Beaverdam Reservoir Park.” Efforts on the new park are well-underway with construction estimated to begin in 2021.

Beaverdam Reservoir Timeline:

Spring of 2020 (exact date TBD): Reservoir Water Access re-opened to the public

Spring of 2021: Estimated to begin Beaverdam Reservoir Park construction

Spring of 2022: Estimated Beaverdam Reservoir Park construction completion

Is the Reservoir open yet???

Beaverdam is not yet open for water access. The natural filling process is underway. Loudoun water does not yet have a date for when recreational access to the water will be restored. They are expecting to get a date within the next month. I will post the date as soon as I get it.

Park Approved!

On March 26th the Loudoun County Planning Commission approved NoVA Parks and Loudoun Waters Plan for the Beaverdam Park. There was a large crowd and the meeting ran past 10pm. Concerns over boathouse location and county liability brought a good amount of discussion. Due to zoning, the boat house’s location is approx 600 feet from the water. A solution of dollies/carts was given and the commission approved the project with a vote of 8 to 1.

Reservoir is opening this Summer!

A quick update from our friends at Loudoun Water:

Beaverdam Reservoir Update – March 2019

With the Beaverdam spillway renovation project nearing completion, Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks expect to allow recreational activities on the water at Beaverdam Reservoir this summer. However, the exact timeframe for re-opening is unclear at this point due to construction delays. Record-setting rainfall over the last year has impacted the original schedule.

The dam embankment needs to be completed prior to refilling the reservoir, and presently the fill material at the site that will be used to construct the embankment is too wet to place and compact.  We are hopeful that weather conditions improve to help dry the material so it can be used for construction.

Once the embankment area is complete, we can begin refilling the reservoir. At that point, we will have a more definitive timeframe for safely allowing people back on the water.

Our timeline:

·         2017 – 2019: Reservoir water access closed to the public

·         Summer of 2019 – Actual Date TBD: Reservoir water access re-opened for the public

·         Spring of 2020: Estimated to begin Reservoir Park construction

·         Spring of 2021: Estimated Reservoir Park construction completion

Is Loudoun Water limiting flow to Goose Creek?

Great article from Loudoun Times, I haven’t seen this much detail in their reporting yet. Below is a tiny snippet from the larger article.

Rich Coffman spent over four decades of his life fishing, swimming and eventually living along Goose Creek.

In the mid-90s he moved to a secluded home next to the creek and now watches over the designated State Scenic River every day.

But last year, Coffman says he began to see some changes to the creek shortly after Loudoun Water acquired Goose Creek from the City of Fairfax.

“Beaverdam Reservoir upstream from here has always been used to keep Goose full during the low flow periods in the late summer,” Coffman said. “Up until 2014 they always did. They [City of Fairfax] would drain Beaverdam down to augment the flow for Goose. When Loudoun Water bought … the facility from Fairfax City, they stopped that.”

Last September, Coffman noticed the company had shortened its water intake cycle from 24-hours to 12-hours, which he says caused more water to be taken without any supplementation.

“What the consequence was, was that when the river got below 25 cfs [cubic feet per second.] No water goes over the dam down there at Goose Creek. None,” Coffman said. “So, from the dam … three or four miles downstream to the Potomac, there was no water flow for a period of time whenever there would be intaking.”

Coffman immediately alerted the Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee, then Loudoun Water and its board as well the Board of Supervisors about the issue, but was unable to get any written responses.

“They [Loudoun Water] eventually hauled me up to the facility…and had six or seven people surround a table including Mark Peterson to tell me that everything is fine, they are perfectly within their rights to do that to the river, to cut off the flow of water to the river,” Coffman said.

Coffman says Loudoun Water admitted no wrongdoing.

When he realized he would not be able to get the issue resolved by dealing directly with Loudoun Water, Coffman says he went to the Virginia Department of Environmental Equality and to various environmental watchdog organizations to tell about what he had seen.

What happened last year?

Data provided by Loudoun Water analyzed by the Times-Mirror shows that last September, for over a week, the utility company pumped over 50 percent of the water in the creek.

The average flow in the creek is about 234 million gallons per day, but during the period in question, the daily flow in the creek was below 12 million gallons.

Loudoun Now – Beaverdam to be Reborn

An article rather light on the details, but here it is anyway:

Beaverdam Reservoir to be Reborn

Loudoun’s largest lake is a quiet place, disturbed only by singing insects, birds on the wing, wind in the trees, and paddles lapping up the water. It’s also artificial, and it’s getting drained in November.

The county’s largest water utility, Loudoun Water, will partially drain Beaverdam Reservoir to repair the spillway that created the lake, work regulated by Virginia dam safety rules. The reservoir is expected to be closed for about two years, but when it reopens in 2019, Loudoun Water and the Northern Virginian Regional Park Authority hope it will be bigger and better for visitors.

“If you’ve ever driven up and down Belmont Ridge Road on a Saturday, you’ll inevitably pass people with kayaks and canoes on top of their cars,” said NOVA Parks Director of Park Operations Chris Paulie.

His organization manages public access to the reservoir’s waters, and he estimates thousands of people use the lake, including the high school crew teams that practice on the body of water. And more people try the lake all the time.
“It’s really been kind of a little oasis that people are just now discovering,” Paulie said. “It’s been kind of a best kept secret for a long time.”

Loudoun Water purchased the reservoir from the City of Fairfax in 2014 and initially closed it to public assess, citing liability concerns. It reopened the property in May 2015 by partnering with NOVA Parks, but Paulie said it was only ever meant to be a temporary solution. On sunny Saturday mornings, he said, the small parking lot on Mt. Hope Road can be a little tight. That was expected.

“Historically, the Beaverdam Reservoir property has not been planned and designed for public access,” said Loudoun Water Executive Director of Stakeholder Relations Mark Peterson. “There isn’t sufficient parking. The assets around there, the way people can enter the water, is not set up ideally for that, so that’s part of what this process is going to be.”

“There’s a real strong interest in reopening this reservoir with more uses for recreation than what we have right now,” said Loudoun Water’s newly installed Deputy General Manager Tom Frederick, “yet at the same time keeping it within the theme of uses that surround a lake that’s used for drinking water.”

That will limit the possibilities for the lake somewhat, since Loudoun Water doesn’t want to allow contamination for one of its major water sources.

“It’s a drinking water resource first, so whatever we do has to meet those standards, so anything that we think about, or envision, or want to plan, would have to always be done under those guidelines,” Paulie said.

That means no swimming, and except for safety launches, no gasoline engines on the water. But paddling, hiking, picnicking, sightseeing, fishing, electric motors, bike trails, and classroom visits are all in.

“We don’t have details as to what that means right now,” Frederick said. “It’s really still at a vision level, and we’re going to interact with the public to actually help provide some of the ideas.”

The process has already begun with a meeting at the NOVA Parks offices last October. According to a report from that meeting, about 200 people showed up to hear Loudoun Water’s plans and offer their input. They produced a long list of ideas, ranging from marked and separated trails for hiking and biking to buoys and extended hours for fishing.“It’s basically going to be a great passive recreation park, with some real amenities and a message for how the resource is being protected,” Paulie said.

“When we do close it for a little while, I think there will be a little bit of disappointment, but I think people will be excited by what the reservoir will be,” said Loudoun Water Manager of Outreach and Education Sue Crosby.

And before then, if you have a canoe, a paddle, and a few hours free, you have until November to take in the quiet at Beaverdam Reservoir.