By Allan Lassiter - July 2020
First discussed at a Board of Supervisors meeting on May 18, the County is looking to acquire and upgrade the Lake Anna Environmental Services (LAES) waste treatment plant (WTP).
The plant currently serves Lake Anna Plaza commercial establishments and the 46 nearby townhomes and is located at the 90 degree turn near the end of Lake Front Drive. “This presents an opportunity to ensure the water quality of Lake Anna”, Supervisor Duane Adams said.
The facility began in 2002 to serve a campground on the property. Enlarged to serve the growing area, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permits were re-issued in 2007 and 2012. The 2012 permit has not been renewed (each lasts 5 years) since 2017 and is being administratively continued by DEQ.
Interestingly, the 2012-2017 permit has a design capacity of 20,000 gallons per day (20k) but has another “flow tier” of 99,000 gallons per day (99k) if there is no increase in Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (Ph). That is, if the limit for N was 25 mg/liter (as an example) at 20k, it couldn’t exceed 5 mg/liter up to the 99k limit. Similarly, Ph at 5mg/liter (example) at 20k could not exceed 1mg/liter up to 99k. Those reductions would help stabilize the flow of these nutrients going into Lake Anna, especially important given our HAB issues. In order to meet these requirements, the current lagoon system would have to be replaced with an advanced treatment system. The cost could approach $5 million.
One of the prime drivers for the County’s interest is the Lake Anna Resort (LAR) across Rt.208 from Lake Anna Plaza. LAR is already approved for a huge mass drain field which could be eliminated with this action and the estimated 60k it would generate would be sent to the new plant. LAR would have to pay a capital contribution before construction and the County wants a commitment from LAR that the project will move forward. Over time, the facility could stimulate development along Route 208 which could call for an expansion of the plant.
Officials also stressed that there could be an opportunity to safely re-use the output of the plant such that it would not all flow into Lake Anna. At another Louisa facility, the Zion Crossroads WTP outflow is used to irrigate the Spring Creek Golf Course. Irrigating Cutalong Golf Course with the LAES outflow could be a possibility.
Recently, County Supervisor Duane Adams has held 2 Constituents Meetings to inform residents of the County’s plan for LAES.
At the first meeting on June 13 at Windward Cove (close neighbors to the LAES system), County officials stressed:
- tax revenue on LAR could approach $475,000 per year and help pay for the plant, which is estimated to cost $5million
- residents, while wary of the whole system and possible increase in odor and flies, are pleased that pollutants won’t exceed the levels allowed at 20,000 GPD when going up to 99,000 GPD level
- officials say that the financial contribution from LAR (amount not specified) would have to be in-hand before any construction begins
- officials also think that Phase 1 of LAR and the completion of the plant may be achieved by 2023.
At the second meeting held on June 20 at a nearby event venue, County officials stressed:
- essentially the same ideas as above plus some new items
- the adjacent townhome POA was planning to take over the WTP but paused its efforts once it heard of Louisa’s interest
- those attending favored Louisa takeover even if LAR doesn’t materialize; operation by the Louisa County Water Authority would greatly improve operations and purchase price would be minimal
- the upgraded plant would likely fit on the property currently owned by LAES
- re-use of the effluent could be done initially or added later
The Lake Anna Civic Association will be discussing this project at upcoming Board Meetings. If you would like to express your opinion to the LACA Board please email: LAES.Opinion@lakeannavirginia.org