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.
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.
· 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
From Ashburn Patch:
ASHBURN, VA — Two incidents of property damage Tuesday night were reported the next day by employees at the Beaverdam Reservoir construction site, 42000 block of Reservoir Road, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
One complaint referred to damaged machines, and the other referred to graffiti spray-painted on equipment.
Loudoun Water and Nova Parks held the second Beaverdam Open House Wednesday December 14th. There was a good crowd though not as big as the first session. The purpose of this meeting was to show the plan that was developed based on our input. I have attached an audio recording of the session above.
The highlight of phase 1 (of 3 planned) is a large 200 car parking area, eco-learning features, and facilities for the rowing team. Welcome news is the plan to develop a mixed use trail all the way around the reservoir for a total length of 8 miles. The car top launch sites (Mt. Hope and Reservoir Rd) will remain as they are now with no planned improvements for Phase 1. While the walk from the parking area to water looks pretty far, this will be an option if parking at Mt. Hope is completely filled.
This is a nice step towards making the area a destination beyond simple paddle sports. There does seem to be a strong emphasis on rowing in Phase 1, but the takeaway is this is going to be a facility for all to enjoy and part of a larger network of parks and water access in Loudoun.
The next open house is December 14, 2016 7:00 p.m. NRPA HQ in Ashburn. Please take some time to show your support for the reseroivr and attend this important session.
Commence Construction & Drawdown of Reservoir – Nov 2016
Achieve Milestone 1 & Partial Refill of Reservoir – April 2017
Substantial Completion & Full Refill of Reservoir – Oct 2018
Final Restoration – December 2018
The reservoir will be closing as planned on November 1. The good news is trail access is not. Below is the notice from our friends at Loudoun Water:
Beaverdam Reservoir Renovation Project Update
Loudoun Water will begin the Beaverdam Reservoir Renovation project on November 1, 2016. This project is designed to improve safety and reliability by bringing the dam into compliance with Virginia dam safety regulations for high hazard dams.
The project includes phased excavation, diversion of water, construction of a new concrete spillway, embankment improvements, control tower modifications, a new transfer pump station and electrical building, improved drainage systems, instrumentation and controls improvements, and a permanent stream crossing.
With construction starting, there will be new rules for public access. Beginning November 1, 2016, Beaverdam Reservoir’s marked trails will be open for public access from dawn to dusk. During the renovation project, water access will be prohibited. No fishing, boating, paddling or other water activities permitted starting November 1. The park access gate will be closed promptly at dusk. For more information on the renovation project, please visit Loudoun Water’s Current Projects web page.
Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks are planning to hold another community input session to share an update on the future vision of Beaverdam Reservoir. Information gathered from last year’s community meeting can be found on www.loudounwater.org.
Look for an upcoming notice on the next meeting that will be held before the end of the year!
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.
Enjoy the reservoir all you can this summer, in November it will be shut down for scheduled repairs. I just recieved notification from Chris Pauley, director of park operations at NOVA Parks.
Loudoun Water is on schedule with their planning and preparations for the required repairs needed at Beaverdam Reservoir. Loudoun Water will close and begin drawing down the reservoir on November 1st, 2016. The reservoir will remain closed to public access in 2017 and 2018 with the permanent reopening in 2019.
While two years is a long time to not use the reservoir, there are other great alternatives in the area such as Algonkian and the Occoquan. We’re looking forward to the improvements and the permanent opening in 2019!