Delayed since mid-December, the Reston Association’s project to inspect and repair Lakes Audubon, Anne, Newport, and Thoreau dams will finally get under way later this month.
In a statement posted to social media, Reston Association will start work on January 25 on the trash racks and riser structure in Lake Audubon. This requires lowering the lake on January 21 and 22, a foot and a half to two feet a day. That work is expected to take a week.
Then, on February 1, the organization will draw down the lake again, this time to a total of eight feet, to allow for a full inspection of the dam infrastructure. It will be drawn down no more than a foot a day, so this work could talk up to one and a half weeks.
Due to this, Lakes Anne, Newport, and Thoreau will also be lowered to prevent spillage.
Later that month, February 15, more dam inspections will be done. This is expected to take until February 24. Once finished, the lake will be allowed to refill naturally which could take up to a few months to happen.
Reston Association asks all residents to provide slack in their moor lines so that boats can lower safely with the water level. The lake bottom will be “deep mud” so do not attempt to walk on it, RA advises.
Every year, the Reston Association performs these inspections and repairs. They are a state requirement, Chris Schumaker, Director of Capital Projects, tells Reston Now via email.
The project was initially pushed due to “delays both in the fabrication and delivery of key materials for the Lake Audubon trash rack and valve replacements,” writes Shumaker.
Update on Lowering of Lake Audubon and Dam Inspections:
After a meeting with our contractor, we have an updated timeline for the upcoming inspections and work on the dams on RA lakes, which will include lowering Lake Audubon.
Full details in the image attached. ⬇️
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) January 12, 2021
Photo via Reston Association/Facebook
The Reston Association’s project to repair and inspect the Lakes Anne, Audubon and Thoreau dams was scheduled for the second week of December has been rescheduled for the second half of January 2021.
According to a statement from the Reston Association, the start date for the project was pushed due to delays with both the fabrication of new parts and with shipping. However, the statement says that the shift will lessen the impact on holiday plans the community may have.
Previously, Lake Audubon was supposed to be lowered to conduct repairs on the riser structure, and the Lake Thoreau dam was supposed to be thoroughly inspected.
According to Chris Schumaker, the Director of Capital Projects, the Lake Audubon Projects as well as the three spillway inspections should take no more than one month to complete. Lake Audubon is the only lake that needs to be lowered to complete the replacement of its spillway trash racks and several gate valves in addition to the inspection of the outfall pipes.
Lake Thoreau, Lake Anne and Lake Newport do not require lowering more than a foot to conduct inspections and therefore won’t impact its members, according to Schumaker.
Photo by Matt Paulson
Next month, Reston Association will be conducting its annual lake inspections on Reston lakes.
The association announced the inspection in a press release Tuesday (Nov. 17). Starting the second week of December, if weather permits, Lakes Anne, Audubon, Newport and Thoreau will all have inspections inside and outside the bodies of water, according to the press release.
“We contract with an engineering firm specialized in this service whose team inspects the inside and outside of the structure and uses divers to look at areas underwater,” the press release said. “To accommodate this inspection, each lake is lowered slightly to prevent water from spilling over the concrete lip that is at the regular lake pool surface level. This lowering typically does not impact activities or boats on the lake.”
Reston Association Watershed Manager William Peterson says these inspections are performed to look for several possible areas of concern.
“Regardless of whether a part of the riser structure is under water or out of the water, we are looking for similar things,” Peterson said. “Essentially, anything that might create a concern. This could include cracks in the concrete, leaks in the control gates, corroded metal for any of the gears, pipes or grates, proper operation of the gates and valves, and more. We want to make sure that our dams are well maintained to ensure the safety of our community and those downstream of each of our lakes.”
Restionians living near any of the four lakes – Anne, Audubon, Newport and Thoreau – should not expect to be affected by the inspections, according to Peterson.
“Typically, the inspections do not affect the residents living near the four lakes,” Peterson said. “Although each riser structure has gates to control the water level, they are always closed except for maintenance purposes. The level of the water for the lakes is typically right at the concrete threshold that allows the lakes to have continuous flow downstream. For the inspections, we lower the levels slightly, typically about a foot, so that water is not flowing inside of the riser structure during the inspection. This helps the inspectors identify possible leaks.”
This year, according to Peterson, Lake Audubon will be lowered a lot more to accommodate the water-overflow.
“Lake Audubon’s water level will be lowered six to eight feet to conduct an inspection on the Thoreau dam outfall, which is on the Lake Audubon side of the dam, Peterson said.” “This is on the opposite side of South Lakes Drive from Thoreau. Although Lake Thoreau will be lowered to prevent water from flowing over the threshold mentioned above, it will not be lowered substantially like Lake Audubon is and should not impact boats on Lake Thoreau.”
For more information about the upcoming lake inspections, visit Reston Association’s website.
Reston Association Dam Riser Inspections coming in December.
Full Details in the image attached. ⬇️
Information related to the upcoming project was provided via the "Reston Today – Capital Projects – Audubon & Thoreau" episode, available to watch on Reston Association's Youtube. pic.twitter.com/jK3KhDnxjK
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) November 17, 2020
Photo via Restion Association/Facebook
Reston Association is urging members to avoid contact with Lake Newport after a possibly harmful algae bloom developed at the lake this week.
The association will continue to monitor the algae, but there are not immediate plans to treat the lake.
Forecasted rain and cooler temperatures should take care of the issue, RA wrote in a statement.
Residents should “regard the algae as potentially harmful” and avoid contact with the water. Pet owners should ensure their pets avoid ingesting or coming into contact with the water as well.
Anyone with additional questions should contact William Peterson at [email protected].
Photo via RA
The Fairfax County Police Department has released new details about a domestic situation that prompted the temporary closure of Lake Newport Road on Friday.
Police said that Carl Robinson, 52, of Reston, refused to leave a home on the 11700 block of Summerchase Circle at around 8:50 a.m. that day.
Robinson, who has multiple warrants from a previous incident, retreated to his home and “refused to exit” after an officer tried to approach him, police said.
The incident prompted local police to close a portion of the road.
Officers from FCPD’s special operations division arrested Robinson on two counts of assault and a violation of a protection order.
FCPD’s Reston District Station also reported the following incident in recent days:
1700 block of Business Center Drive, purse from vehicle
1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from location
2400 block of Centreville Road, cell phone from business
2400 block of Centreville Road, cell phone from location
2200 block of Chamblee Place, backpack from vehicle
2500 block of Farmcrest Drive, bicycle from vehicle
10100 block of Georgetown Pike, cash from business
12100 block of Holly Knoll Circle, property from residence
1400 block of Hunter View Farms, firearm from vehicle
2100 block of Monaghan Drive, cash and property from vehicle
11600 block of Plaza America Drive, cell phone from location
2100 block of Seaman Court, tires from vehicle
12500 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, tools from construction site
400 block of Walker Road, shoes from business
1600 block of Wiehle Avenue, property from location
1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, merchandise from business
In a separate incident, a burglary was reported in a home on the 11900 block of Holly Spring Drive on Tuesday, June 11.
An alarm sounded around 3:15 a.m., prompting the suspect to run away.
Photo via FCPD
Reston Association will host the 10th annual “World’s Largest Swimming Lesson” at Lake Newport this month.
The event, which is set for Thursday, June 20, is a global public relations event that encourages the worldwide aquatics industry to build awareness about water safety and awareness.
The initiative was started by the World Waterpark Association in 2010, according to its website. It is set for 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
In a Reston Today video, Willa Suter, RA’s aquatics program manager, hopes the event at Lake Newport will be a success.
Video via Reston Today/YouTube
(Updated at 3 p.m.) A domestic incident prompted the closure of Lake Newport Road earlier today.
A suspect wanted on a felony warrant was arrested during the incident. Local police responded to a report about a family member having a dispute with the man at around 9 a.m. today (Friday).
The situation, which is contained to the 11700 block of Summerchase Circle, caused the police department to close Lake Newport Road between North Point Drive and Newport Spring Court.
FCPD did not release any other details about the incident to Reston Now.
First day of school — Fairfax County Public Schools are back in session today. Local police are reminding commuters to be wary of school traffic and buses. [Herndon Police Department]
Reston 101 — In case you need a basic primer, Mercia Hobson offers a brief description of the Planned Residential Community and its five village centers. [The Connection]
Something different at the end of the tunnel — Lake Anne students and staff painted a community circles mural at the entry to a tunnel on Fairway Drive on August 17. [Patch]
Nearby: Man who exposed himself found — Local police have found a man who exposed himself to a woman in a church parking lot over the weekend. Police released an image of the suspect yesterday. [WJLA, Fairfax County Police Department]
Photo by Ruth Sievers
To swing into the new season, the Reston Association will be hosting a Tennis Racquet Demo Day at the Lake Newport tennis courts on Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Reston Association tennis program manager Rob Tucker will have several racquets on hand for people to try out, including some of the newest models from brands like Babolat, Wilson, Dunlop and Head.
Tennis instructors will also be there to show people how the racquets are used, and to help players figure out which racquet is right for their game.
Photo via Reston Association
Reston Soccer is hoping to organize dozens of young soccer players in uniform to attend Thursday’s Reston Association Board of Directors meeting to lobby for “a new home for Reston Soccer.”
Reston Soccer President Robert Anguizola told Reston Now last month that the organization, which serves more than 1,500 youth soccer players, wants to turn two fields, preferably at RA”s Lake Newport Soccer, into artificial turf fields.
“We are doing a lot of things to improve player development,” Anguizola said . “One thing that is a big part of that is field and facility quality.”
Anguilzola will present a plan to the RA Board Thursday that takes Reston Soccer’s plans way beyond field conversion.
Said Reston Soccer in an email to members:
Reston Soccer will present its proposal for building a new home for Reston Soccer at Lake Newport Soccer fields which would include: 2 full size synthetic turf fields with plant derived infill (not tire crumb!); low glare LED lights; bathrooms; and a clubhouse!”
[We are] looking to partner with Reston Association and raise the funds via grassroots fundraising by Reston Soccer, proffers, corporate sponsorships, phased building over number of years if necessary. Eager to work with the community in a collaborative manner to minimize the impact and support the needs of the surrounding community.
While supplies last, we will give anyone that comes to the meeting to support Reston Soccer a Reston Strong jersey! Need to fill the room to the gills. We need to show that people love soccer in Reston and care about better fields!
The RA Board will not vote on this proposal Thursday; the presentation is for discussion only.
In 2013, RA gave South Lakes High School $50,000 for a $2 million project to convert two grass fields to turf. In turn, RA got places on the turf usage schedule. RA originally had committed $100,000 to the project.
Reston Soccer donated $150,000 to the SLHS project.
Anguizola said in June Reston Soccer has benefitted from additional playing time on the SLHS fields, Reston still needs additional turf fields.
The invader is Bladderwort, and Bill Kirkpatrick of Aquatic Environmental Consultants says its a particularly pesky and unusual aquatic plant that is not typically found in this part of Virginia.
Kirkpatrick is not sure why, but Lake Newport experienced a dramatic growth of the plant last summer. Bladderwort is ecologically beneficial for fish, insects in turtles, but eventually breaks loose and forms dense floating mats on the lake surface.
“RA staff does recognize the dense floating mats are really unsightly,” said Nicki Bellezza, RA’s Watershed Manager.
Kirkpatrick said the plant is typically found in nutrient-poor, boggy, rather acidic areas, which are “places plants can’t thrive.” He said Lake Newport is nutrient-rich, which adds to the mystery.
The environmental consultants thought the stock of grass carp, a fish that feeds on such plants (and has been previously added to Lake Newport to help control Hydrilla) could help control the Bladderwort, but is has not worked. Read More
Reston Association says the lake has been experiencing a dramatic growth of bladderwort, a submerged aquatic plant that floats to the surface forming dense mats.
“Bladderwort is unique in that it captures its food in tiny bladders, similar to the venus fly trap,” RA said in a release. “There are no health-related issues associated with the existence of this plant on the lake.”
Even though the matted plants are unsightly, they are actually ecologically beneficial.
Bladderwort is a beneficial habitat for fish and aquatic insects, turtles and frogs, says RA. And now that it is October, bladderwort, like all aquatic plants, is expected to die back within the next 30 days when the water temperatures start to get colder.
RA says bladderwort likes to grow in shallow water and that Lake Newport. Meanwhile, Lake Newport has been filling in with sediment over the last 10-13 years and is scheduled to be dredged in 2017.
“RA has treated Lake Newport to control the white water lily. In doing so, it opened the lake bottom sediments up to additional light. There is excess fertility of the lake with the added nutrients from the decaying lilies and runoff of fertilizer and lawn chemicals. The bladderwort reproduces quickly and is coating the entire visible lake bottom.
RA staff removed some of the bladderwort by hand on Sept. 16-17., but much of the plant still remains.”
RA says it will not be further treating the invasion this late in the season.
“Even if RA treated it this fall, the plant would still come back next spring,” said Nicki Bellezza, RA’s Watershed Manager.
Also, the association will be going to a more natural control agent next year: stocking the lake with plant-eating grass carp in the spring to feast on the new plants.
Photo: Bladderwort removal at Lake Newport/Courtesy Reston Association
To buy or not to buy? That is a the question Reston Association’s Board of Directors is asking members in regards to RA’s potential purchase of the former Reston Visitors Center.
The first of two public hearings will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. at RA Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.
This is a chance for RA members to speak up on whether RA should spend about $2.65 million to buy the 3,200-square-foot building at 11450 Baron Cameron Ave. A member referendum is planned for April, and the RA By-Laws say the board cannot make the purchase without the approval of a majority of RA members.
Here is what the referendum will ask:
Should the Reston Association, acting through the Board of Directors, be authorized to:
- Purchase the Tetra property, inclusive of land and improvements, located at 11450 Baron Cameron Avenue, Reston, VA 20190 in the North Point District as an addition to Common Area pursuant to Article IV, Section IV.10 of the Reston Deed; and,
- Borrow up to $2.65 million on behalf of the association to make the purchase and repurpose the property for future community and recreation uses?
The board announced last month it is looking into purchasing the building, which currently houses Tetra commercial real estate.
The building was the Reston Visitors Center from 1982 to 2003. It sits on 3 1/2 acres near Lake Newport and several RA recreational spaces. RA is not yet certain what the building would be used for, though CEO Cate Fulkerson says it will be “community and recreational space” and not RA offices.
Here are some main points to consider:
RA says it will borrow $2.65 million, based on a recent appraisal. However, the 2014 county tax assessment values the building at $1,428,370.
Financial terms would likely be a zero-interest down payment and financing at 3.45 percent. The term would be a 20-year amortization schedule, but the loan matures at 10 years and would need to be refinanced at that time, says RA CFO David Harris. There would be $16,000 in loan costs at settlement. Read More