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!
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!
Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks will be having their first stakeholder input session on October 27. Planned time is 6:30-8:30PM. This will be your chance to talk to the Loudoun Water Staff and the NOVA Parks team. They will be soliciting input for the future of the reservoir. Please make time to come, even if only for a brief time, your voice is very important in shaping the future of the reservoir. More details to come.
Yesterday several key stakeholders were invited to meet with Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks to discuss the temporary opening of Beaverdam Creek Reservoir. We met at the Mt. Hope road location, which will serve as the only public access location for now. The reservoir is quickly filling back up, though it is not up to its normal level yet. Some good news was shared with us. First, the reservoir will be opening a few days early, Saturday the 30th of May. Second, the rowers have been relocated to their own location on Alford Rd, as has all their equipment. The parking situation at Mt. Hope is greatly improved. The rowing team however did take their dock. The reservoir looks great, several times we heard fish jumping out of the water and DGIF has said the the fish population looks good.
With the opening, Loudoun Water has some concerns. First is that we stay away from the dam area, both on the water and on foot. Second is that we do not park on the church side of Mt. Hope Rd. The church has been helpful to us, please respect the parking situation. If the lot is full, you can park down the road at the NOVA parks lot. Last they ask you respect the land and water. If you see someone doing something they should not be doing, please call the Loudoun Sheriff’s dept. Let’s not let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. Loudoun Water is also paying for the Sheriff’s dept to do additional patrols. Ads will be run is Leesburg/Ashburn Today and the Loudoun Times with opening details.
Chris Pauley’s team from the Fairfax location of NOVA Parks (NVRPA) is managing the recreational side of the facility. Staff will be visiting the facility on a regular basis as well as be onsite during weekends. The park will be run just like the various other NVRPA launch points in the area (Algonkian/Occoquan) and as such a $4 launch fee will be assessed or you can purchase a yearly “All Park” pass for $70 at the NVRPA site. The gates will be opened at dawn and closed at dusk. Only car-top boats can be launched at Beaverdam. There is no boat ramp or room for trailer parking. Sunfish or small sailboats are fine as long as they don’t need a trailer. Stand up paddling and sailboards are fine as well. Swimming is not allowed. NOVA Parks worked hard to convince LW that SUPs were not there to swim! The trails are available only for walking/hiking. No MTB at this time.
To say we’re excited that NOVA Parks is running the facility is an understatement. They are a great bunch of people that get parks and watersports. See you out on the water!
* If you see someone breaking the rules, call the Sheriff
* Do not park on the church side of Mt. Hope
* Stay away from the dam!
* Enjoy the park, keep it beautiful.
We met with Loudoun Water and NoVA parks at the reservoir today to view the progress and to discuss opening details. The great news is the reservoir is opening a few days early, this Saturday!
Please park in designated areas on Mt. Hope Rd. Do not park on the church side. Please stay away from the actual dam and spillway! Rules will be similar to other NVRPA (NoVA Parks) areas that allow car-top carry boats. There is no boat ramp or dock, as such, no trailers allowed. More details to follow.
Just a quick update, I have heard from our friends at Loudoun Water and NVRPA, all systems are go for opening on June 1. Public access will be at the Mt. Hope site. We are meeting with them next week to get the final details. If you have specific questions, please comment below and I will try to get your questions answered.
Not exactly new news, Loudoun Water has stated it intended to re-open Beaverdam Creek Reservoir in writing before, but this is their strongest statement yet.
“Ultimately, we want the reservoir to be safely enjoyed by all. Guided by our overall planning process, we will balance our primary responsibility to protect and maintain the reservoir as a long-term drinking water resource with the community’s desire to enjoy the scenic and tranquil surroundings that Beaverdam provides,” said Jennings.
This is good news. All the letter writing, sessions with the Loudoun Water and the Loudoun Board of Supervisors are paying off. A partnership with NVRPA (now renamed NOVA Parks) would be the cherry on top.