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  • September 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Greg Baker – September 2023

    $1 Million for Lake Anna HAB Remediation

    The lake had a monstrous win in the Virginia General Assembly recently!

    This all started a year or more ago when the LACA board decided to start a fundraising campaign called “Kick the HAB!” We sensed a growing frustration with our membership related to the 5th year of VDH recreational or no-swim advisories for much of the upper lake. While the various stakeholders ranging from LACA, DEQ, VDH, LAAC, the academic community and other organizations all care deeply about the lake and the no-swim advisories, most of the action was around testing Lake Anna waters. Very little was being done to mitigate or remediate the Harmful Algal Blooms. That is where this idea all started.

    The board brainstormed and came up with an idea in early 2022 to test a product called Lake Guard Oxy on several test sites on the lake. Our water quality volunteers came up with a set of experiments on the lake and made a presentation to the board for funding. Based on this outline, the board agreed to launch the Kick the HAB! Campaign. I am very proud that the board members themselves reached deep and made significant contributions to this effort. Based on this enthusiasm and our members (and non-members) donations, we blasted through our $110,000 target and raised close to $150,000! This was a first for LACA and showed that our community really cares about this issue.

    In the course of the experiments using Lake Guard Oxy, we found that the product works. However, we also found that for it to be effective, we would need to apply the product far earlier in the growing season and far more often than we previously assumed. With that in mind, we scaled back our experiments late in the summer to preserve the product and to save some money. If you are interested, please visit our website to learn more about the experiments and their results. One of the conclusions from the experiment is that to fight HABs on the lake will be expensive.

    Last fall, given our financial savings on cutting back our experiments and the community’s overwhelming support we had a decision to make. What to do with the excess funds from the Kick the HAB campaign. An innovative idea was brought forward to approach the Governor and the General Assembly to request funding to remediate HAB on the lake. To do this, we approached Hunton Williams in Richmond. Hunton is a local law firm that has a government affairs department and was willing to help. Hunton’s proposal was to attempt to get the funding in the governor’s budget and if that failed to ask our local representatives to include funding in a budget amendment. Because LACA is a nonprofit with a very skinny annual budget, we were not sure that we would be able to afford an impressive firm like Hunton. Fortunately, they were willing to work at greatly discounted price and we struck a deal (with the LACA board’s approval) at roughly a 75% discount from their normal pricing.

    As Hunton started their efforts, we immediately hit a setback. We were too late to be included in the governor’s version of the budget. We were warned that this could be the case. Undeterred, we pressed on. We have some terrific local legislators that were willing to help us in this effort. Senator Peake led the charge on the senate side and Senators Reeves and Stuart signed on as co-patrons. On the house side, Delegate Wyatt was the chief patron and although others were not listed as co-patrons, I know that we had significant support from both Delegate McGuire and Delegate Fowler (and others as well). You can read the budget amendment from the house here and the amendment from the senate here.

    The only bad news in the original budget amendments, there was $1 million in the house version of the amendment and $500 thousand in the senate version. We certainly were hoping for $1 million for Lake Anna.

    Then the really bad news hit. Our Virginia legislators could not agree on a budget. I was very disappointed and felt that we had let the Lake Anna community down by investing your contributions in an effort that might not pay off for the lake.

    Our friends at Hunton never lost hope and told us that it does not benefit anyone, Republican or Democrat to not come to an agreement eventually. They were ultimately correct! Just recently, as you all saw in the press, the governor called a special session to work out the budget and an agreement was made which included the original $1million in funding for mitigation of HAB at Lake Anna.

    Our entire board is humbled and proud of this effort and glad our local legislators got the job done!

    EutroPHIX and Phosphorus Remediation

    What is the next step in our HAB efforts at Lake Anna?

    LACA hosted a special board meeting on August 17th to hear a presentation from EutroPHIX on how we might make a meaningful reduction in Phosphorus in the Lake. Two members of the Lake Anna Advisory Committee attended the meeting as well as a member of Congressman Good’s staff.

    You may see the minutes from this meeting here along with the marketing material provided by EutroPHIX.

    One of the most compelling informational nuggets from this meeting was the following: Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, not a single water body has been cleaned though watershed restoration.

    Fencing agriculture out of our streams, improving our septic systems, instituting best practices for homeowners and other watershed restoration projects certainly help, but do not reverse the impairments in our lakes. We found this statement disturbing and fascinating all at the same time. To confirm, we asked a renowned HAB expert, Dr. David Schmale from Virginia Tech and he confirmed that he is unaware of any academic or scientific paper that points to a success using exclusively watershed restoration efforts.

    In other words, we need to continue our efforts to improve practices in our watershed, but that is NOT GOING TO FIX OUR HAB PROBLEM AT LAKE ANNA! We need to take action using remediation and mitigation techniques. This is where a firm like EutroPHIX could come into play.

    EutroPHIX explained that a budget to remediate Phosphorus on Lake Anna would be approximately $10 million over three years to aggressively address the Phosphorus problem on the lake. We would then need approximately another $1.4 million a year after that for at least another decade to address the Phosphorus that enters the lake from the watershed.

    EutroPHIX has been successful in working with the Federal government to receive funding for their efforts. The LACA board has agreed to work towards raising funds to neutralize our Phosphorus problem on Lake Anna and we are hopeful that EutroPHIX could be part of the long-term solution. LACA is committed towards this goal, but we have not committed to working with EutroPHIX exclusively.  

    We are meeting with Hunton Williams to come up with a plan for the future on how we might attack the funding issues needed to solve the HAB problem at Lake Anna. We are working to better understand the overall cost of remediation and mitigation and the $1 million from the state is a great start, but it is only the beginning. What we can tell you is that our local county budgets do not have the money necessary to apply to this problem and rest assured that Dominion Energy is not going to spend this type of money either. (I bring this up, because I will often hear comments that the county or Dominion Energy should come to the table and fix our problem. Rest assured; it is a much bigger problem than we can solve locally.)

    As we move into 2024, we will be considering fund raising efforts to work towards this outcome. We have realized that our fundraising is not going to fix our HAB problems, and we hope that the community will continue supporting our efforts albeit to work to a governmental solution of the problem.

    2023 Annual Meeting

    At the end of July LACA hosted our annual meeting at Dominion Energy’s Visitor Center. It was well attended with over 100 members joining us in person and more that joined via Zoom.

    I might be biased, but I believe it was one of the best annual meetings in LACA’s history. If you were unable to attend, I would encourage you to watch the Zoom video of the meeting. You may access the video here.

    A big thanks to our guest speakers from Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Sarah Sivers and Tish Robertson. You can fast forward to approximately the nine-minute mark of the above video if you would like to see their presentation.

  • July 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Harry Looney – July 2023

    If you live in the upper part of the lake, north of the 208 bridge, you are most likely aware of, or have experienced, Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB) and the recreational “No Swim” advisories issued by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). HABs are caused by cyanobacteria that live in the water along with a multitude of other plant and animal life. There are many different species of cyanobacteria in Lake Anna and LACA has been working with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and VDH in monitoring these bacteria for the past four years.

    There is a huge amount of research being conducted on cyanobacteria and HABs. Cyanobacteria live in both freshwater and in marine environments and the HABs that result from rapid growth of cyanobacteria have been documented for more than 60 years at locations around the world. So, if the problem is not new, and there is so much historical and ongoing research, why can’t we do something to eliminate it? Well, that is a question many people around Lake Anna have been asking for the past five years and one that LACA is working hard to address.

    The bottom line is that cyanobacteria growth and HABs are a very complex problem with no “silver bullet” solution.  Efforts to “fix” the problem in other locations around the United States have been expensive and positive effects are not achieved for years after the efforts are started. These large-scale efforts require federal and / or state money to implement due to the scope of the funding requirements alone. Data from a recent study conducted on a portion of the upper part of the North Anna River branch asserts that it would conservatively cost $250 million to achieve a 30% reduction of nutrient levels that feed the cyanobacteria in that portion of the lake (click here to read the report). That area of the lake is only 20% of the approximately 4,400 acres of the lake north of the route 208 bridge.  The price-tag to “fix” the problem is simply too high to even consider going down that path.

    Given the complexities and huge funding requirements, what can LACA do to improve conditions?  Our research and work with several state agencies, many academic institutions, and industry partners led us to technologies that allow us to mitigate, not “fix”, the problem. These mitigation technologies are criticized by some as “band-aid” solutions. LACA agrees that the effects are only short-term, but something needs to be done to “stop the bleeding”. Our members do not want to just sit and wait for someone else to work this problem, so LACA is acting.

    The objective of our Cyanobacteria Mitigation & Remediation (CMR) program is to control the problem, not to eradicate the cyanobacteria.   We are using mitigation technologies that have 10-20 years of research, field testing, and use in similar environments to control the rapid growth of cyanobacteria to achieve and maintain an ecological balance of plant and animal life in the water. A common criticism of mitigation techniques is that they must be executed every year.  This is true but effects are seen almost immediately, not in 5-10 years, and the cost to implement these technologies in small test areas is reasonable for an organization like LACA to undertake.

    So, what are we doing in 2023?  We are testing two different ultrasound technologies this year, continuing our investigations into algaecides, furthering our understanding of phosphorous remediation techniques, and continuing to monitor the upper lake area for water quality parameters and cyanobacteria concentration levels. It is a very comprehensive program requiring hundreds of volunteer hours from LACA members. You can read about ultrasound technologies and where we are implementing these technologies on our website at this link.  Our experience in 2022 using algicides was positive so we are continuing our use of a hydrogen-peroxide-based algaecide in 2023 in the shallow portions of Goldmine Creek. Early test results indicate that the ultrasound and algaecide technologies are working as expected in Goldmine and Duckinhole Creeks.  The history of heavy HABs on the upper portion of Pamunkey Creek combined with higher water flows and deeper water depths present a much tougher set of conditions for ultrasound technologies on that part of the lake. It is a significant challenge, but we are testing there to see what effects we can achieve with ultrasound technologies on open portions of the lake.  We have seen two short periods (2-3 days) of bloom conditions in the test area but the ultrasound device appears to be able to “catch-up” with the exponential growth of cyanobacteria in that area and return lake conditions to what would be considered normal for this time of year.  We will be monitoring conditions across the entire upper lake area throughout the remainder of the recreational season and we will publish a report at the end of the year on results for our 2023 testing.

    LACA is also furthering our understanding of nutrient levels (phosphorous and nitrogen) in the lake and the amounts entering the lake from the watershed to develop nutrient remediation concepts and projects for Lake Anna. This research is greatly enhanced by a 2-year, state-funded study on HABs. DEQ, and their partner, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), deployed five continuous monitoring stations in the watershed that provide data every 15 minutes to an online USGS water quality portal.  You can view these data by going to this LACA webpageand clicking on the links for the 5 sites.  There are three stations in the lake (2 on the North Anna and 1 on Pamunkey Creek) and two in the upstream tributaries (North Anna River and Pamunkey Creek). LACA is also conducting sediment sampling and analysis in 2023 to provide a current, comprehensive set of sediment data for the upper lake.  LACA is using these sediment data, and the data from the DEQ/USGS continuous monitoring stations, to inform research into a possible, future phosphorous remediation program to reduce the amount of phosphorous available to the cyanobacteria in the lake.

    LACA will provide all our test data from 2022 and 2023 to the Virginia DEQ for their use in developing a larger-scale mitigation effort in future years. LACA estimates that a full-scale implementation of mitigation technologies in the upper lake area will take a minimum of $1 million per year. This is why LACA is working to achieve a line item in the state budget for HAB mitigation and remediation at Lake Anna and $1 million dollars in the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget amendment.

    Our 2023 Cyanobacteria Mitigation & Remediation (CMR) program is a very comprehensive program requiring hundreds of volunteer hours from LACA members. We are out on the lake weekly, monitoring, sampling, and ensuring our mitigation devices are working properly. We update our website regularly so keep an eye on this page ( for those updates. 

    LACA would like to thank our generous donors and volunteers that make this effort possible. This is a civic activity that everyone involved, volunteers and donors alike, can and should be proud of. Go to the LACA website if you want to donate to these efforts and click on the DONATE NOW button.  Please make sure that you select the “Kick the HAB … AGAIN!” program to ensure your donation goes to further this effort. 

    Please contact the LACA Program Manager if you want to get involved in our volunteer efforts or if you want to get more information on the CMR-2023 program.

  • July 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jean McCormick - July 2023

    There are several things that make wake surfing and wake boarding separate water sports. While at first glance they look similar, on closer inspection, there are key differences that are obvious.

    The most obvious; a wake boarder’s feet are strapped to the board they are riding.  This offers added leverage and stability and really assists the rider when attempting aerial tricks but limits the foot position and freedom of movement a surfer enjoys with just his bare feet free to move about on the board.

    Wake boarding and wake surfing also occur at different speeds and within different proximity to the tow boat.  Wake boarders often ride between 18-24 miles per hour and 65 feet or more behind the towboat. This speed and distance allow for widely spaced wakes that are shaped as ideal launch ramps.

    In contrast, wake surfing typically happens at a much slower speed; 7-12 miles per hour, with the surfer very close to the boat’s swim platform where the peak of the wave is the highest.

    The good news is that many of the skills required by each sport are transferable to the other.  Therefore, many riders enjoy both sports.

    As with all towed water sports, a properly sized Coast Guard approved life vest is always required. There are exceptions.  But in most areas, it is the law.

    The operator of the boat should designate one passenger as the spotter.  Position that person in the passenger seat facing backward, and make sure he/she has an unobstructed view of the surfer or boarder.  It is the observer’s job to keep an eye on the person being always towed, relay the rider’s signals to the driver and alert the operator immediately if the person being towed falls.

    In some states, the spotter is required to hold up a flag any time the rider is down to alert nearby boaters.

    Whichever sport you choose, practice it responsibility and safely.

  • July 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Greg Baker – July 2023

    There is so very much to discuss in this month’s President’s Column, so let’s get to it:

    LACA Annual Meeting

    The LACA annual meeting will be held at Dominion Energy’s North Anna Visitor Center on July 29th. We have two representatives of DEQ as our guest speakers. Sarah Sivers and Tish Robertson will give our members an update on the study regarding Harmful Algal Blooms on Lake Anna and the Shenandoah River. You may recall LACA urged our members to support this initiative by the Virginia Legislature. We are very excited to learn how the study is proceeding.

    We will discuss the results of the biennial survey that we just completed and the most updated views of our members. Our water quality chair, Harry Looney will give an update on the status of Kick the HAB…AGAIN! and our efforts to mitigate HAB on Lake Anna. These are just a few of the items on our agenda, I hope you will join us! Doors open at 9:00AM and the meeting will begin at 9:30AM. Our committee chairs will be available prior to the meeting to answer questions and explain what each committee does. Light refreshments will be provided.

    Space is limited and you must register to attend the meeting. You may do so through this link. All members in good standing (dues paid) are invited. If there are two members of your household that would like to attend, both must register separately. If you need help on how to add a second member of your household to your LACA membership, you can refer to an article that I wrote in 2021 about adding a “bundle member”. I hope you will be able to join us in person, but if not, we will also be hosting up to 100 members via Zoom to join remotely.

    Kick the HAB…AGAIN!

    I have written on several occasions about our trial efforts towards mitigation and remediation surrounding HAB on Lake Anna. The government affairs firm that we retained with your financial support is continuing their efforts to have funds allocated by the state of Virginia to specifically address HAB through ACTIONS, and not further study. Unfortunately, the legislature has not been able to come together and pass an updated budget. That means that to date, our efforts for $1MM in funding for this coming fiscal year is still on hold. We are still optimistic that the Governor will call a special session in mid to late July with the intent on finalizing the budget process. We may need your help in a letter writing campaign. If so, we will get an E-Gram out to our members.

    In the interim, the LACA volunteers are working hard on three trials for this summer. Please come to the annual meeting to learn more about the efforts. These efforts are funded through the Kick the HAB…AGAIN! campaign. To date, we have only raised $24,000 of our $50,000 budget. For us to continue this effort, we will need your financial support. Please help by making a tax-deductible donation to Kick the HAB…AGAIN!  If we do not reach our fundraising goal, we will have no choice but to cut back on some of our mitigation and remediation trails later in the summer.

    We will also be hosting several fundraising efforts. These will include Lake Anna Restaurant Dine Arounds as well as a Golf Tournament at Cutalong. Please be on the lookout for future announcements.

    Kick the HAB…AGAIN! Golf Tournament

    At Cutalong Golf Club

    Please join us at the beautiful Cutalong Golf Club for a day of golf and HAB awareness. Cutalong Golf Club was recently named as one of the Top 10 private golf clubs in the state of Virginia as well as one of the top new courses in America.  This is your opportunity to play Cutalong even if you are not a member and more importantly, a way for you to support LACA’s efforts to fight HAB on Lake Anna.

    The cost of a foursome is $500 and will include lunch, drinks, and prizes for the winners of the tournament.  All profits from the tournament will go to the Kick the HAB…AGAIN! program.  Please gather up your friends and come out to play Cutalong. You may register here. If you are interested in playing, but do not have a team, please reach out to Sue Biondi and she will work with Cutalong to find a team for you to join.

    In addition to playing in the event, please consider one of the following sponsorship opportunities.

    Title Sponsor: Cost $5000 – The title sponsor will receive two complimentary foursome entries into the tournament, signage at the sign in tables and your name and logo on our program.

    Food or Beverage Sponsor: Cost $1500 – The food or beverage sponsors will each receive one complimentary foursome entry into the tournament, recognition in the program and your name and logo included in the lunch boxes.

    Hole Sponsor: Cost $200 – For each hole sponsor, you will have a 14” x 18” sign displayed at the tee box with your name and logo.

    Please reach out to Sue Biondi if you have any questions about sponsorships or would like to support the tournament by being a sponsor.

    Webmaster Needed

    LACA is in desperate need of a volunteer to help maintain our website with current and useful information. You may remember that we upgraded our website several years back and have gotten fabulous feedback for the huge improvements to the website. However, to stay relevant in search engines, we need to keep our website updated with new and accurate information. The inner workings of the website are relatively easy to learn, and no website design background is needed. If you can use Microsoft Word effectively, you will pick up the inner workings of the website very easily. Please consider chipping in and helping your neighbors at Lake Anna by volunteering to be the LACA webmaster.  If you are interested or have any questions, please email me at

    LACA Board Elections

    This is the time of year for LACA board elections. Be on the lookout for the electronic ballots. Even though most of the posts are not contested, please show your support for your LACA volunteers by voting. Your voting is greatly appreciated!

  • July 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne - July 2023

    Cutalong continues to move forward with the promise of bringing a full-scale golf course community to Lake Anna.  The Golf Course is in full swing with 18 holes and an impressive member count.  Infrastructure is being built out to include a wastewater treatment facility and the community water system.  LACA is appreciative of the relationship building with the Cutalong Team and continues to work with them to understand their plan and the possible impact on the lake and surrounding community.

    In a meeting with LACA representatives in late 2022, Cutalong representatives shared portions of their long-term development plans including Golf Stay and Play facilities, practice facilities, a marina, and boatel’s and of course the phased development of up to 900 homes.  High level information on several of the infrastructure build outs were discussed including the Wastewater Treatment facilities, dredging required for the shoreline development, and others.  Members of the development team indicated their desire to be good neighbors of the Lake Anna community and requested feedback from LACA on what was shared.

    At that meeting, the Cutalong developers shared their plan to implement a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) for Phase two of development.  At full operation this will serve many hundred homes and other facilities. They are seeking a permit from DEQ that will create up to 250,000 gallons per day of treated effluent. Just days ago, DEQ provided us notification of this application as an “interested party”.  

    The plan is to utilize this effluent for watering the golf course during the growing season, and then, during the winter season, to release the effluent into Blackwater creek, which will eventually make its way to Lake Anna.  There is a commitment from the developer to utilize a state-of-the-art Alternative Onsite Septic System which will lower the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that are contained in the effluent below that required by current state law.  Further, the developer indicated that they will acquire the state required offset credits to account for their nutrient loading of the lake and will work within the Lake Anna Watershed to implement these credits.  Since that meeting, LACA considered the plans and developed additional ideas for mitigation of any nutrient loading of the lake.  We presented these thoughts in a discussion with the Cutalong Team early last month.

    Regarding nutrient loading and credits, we asked that Cutalong develop and implement a project that directly impacts Lake Anna and further mitigates the specific nutrient loading from the effluent released into the watershed.  Suggested approaches are to:

    • Develop a “wetland” project that is positioned to directly mitigate the nutrient loading contained in the planned release of the effluent from the Cutalong Phase Two WWTF.
    • Develop floating wetlands that are placed in the lake in proximity to the inflow of any runoff from the Phase Two WWTF.
    • Ensure that any other projects for credits from the Phase Two WWTF nutrient loading are implemented within the Lake Anna Watershed.

    From our recent discussions, the Cutalong team has indicated that they share a common goal with us, to produce low-load effluent, reuse effluent for the golf course to protect the local aquifer and mitigate discharge with onsite nutrient credit generation.  They are working through mitigation strategies and have created a high-level survey of the property which identifies the potential for onsite remediation, through restoration.  They also indicated that based on LACA’s recommendations regarding on-site wetland creation and the creation of floating wetlands, they will seriously assess the potential for inclusion of these approaches in their overall strategy. We are pleased that the Cutalong Team is focused on this issue, and we continue to encourage them to actively pursue our recommendations or other mitigation strategies that will negate the impact of adding nitrogen and phosphorus into the Lake Anna watershed.

    LACA has also considered other aspects of the development plans including dredging, marina buildout and the desire to contain noise and other impacts of the waterfront and shoreline development.  Through our internal discussion the following ideas were developed that are thought to be good for the community and the relationship between the Cutalong community and other Lake Anna constituencies.  

    We asked the Team to consider several ideas surrounding shoreline and waterfront development that we believe can meet the needs of the Cutalong community and be least impactful to current Lake Communities.  These include developing marina, boatel and community docks and slips in a way that is least intrusive.  We suggested that no commercial activities be included in their waterfront plan including fuel distribution, public restaurant accessible from the water, concerts provided to the public, etc., thus limiting traffic coming to the facilities by water from other parts of the lake.  The Team has committed to ensure that current noise, lighting and other county ordinances and regulations are implemented and followed mitigating the impact on current and future lake area residents.

    As dredging operations may expose the lake to nutrients, metals, and perhaps other chemicals that reside in the lake bottom, we asked that the Team commit to an open process that is executed based on what is best for the Lake.  This should include providing updated diagrams of the dredge site and plans for LACA and community review. We have also asked the Team for a commitment to test the lake bottom prior to the dredge so that proper precautions can be taken and notifications to the communities can be made to mitigate any ill effects from the dredge.  They have indicated their desire to work with us by sharing their current plan for dredging with the LACA Board and we will share that with our membership once the final approvals are in place with the Corps of Engineers and Dominion.  The plan appears to cover a fraction of the area previously included in their dredging plan, which is good for the lake. 

    We have asked the Cutalong Team to consider the development of a “Promissory Agreement” with the community that among other things includes the implementation of communications avenues with the surrounding community providing updates at appropriate times on upcoming development activities. These could include Town Hall meetings, the development of a website detailing development plans and progress, schedules, alerts to critical operations such as dredging schedule, and others. 

    We appreciate the relationship that is developing with the Cutalong Team and look forward to continuing to work with them as they work towards the development of their vision for the Cutalong community.

  • June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Al Bennett – June 2023

    Historically, the number of fatalities in the United States from lightning strikes per year is 51.  In the last 10 years and due to advanced warning and more public awareness, the average number of fatalities is 23.  Each year, the National Weather Service publishes a list of people that have died because of lightning and that list includes people that have died while boating, jet skiing, swimming, and fishing.

    Unfortunately, a lightning strike recently caused fatalities on Lake Anna. This tragic incident involved a family of eight who were cruising the lake on a pontoon boat.  They found themselves caught out on the water while a severe thunderstorm was passing through our area.  A bolt of lightning struck their pontoon boat, killing two family members.

    The remainder of this article is meant to increase everyone’s knowledge and awareness of the danger thunderstorms present.  First, a few facts about thunderstorms and lightning, published by the National Weather Service and Arizona State University:

    • The average thunderstorm is 6-10 miles wide.
    • The average thunderstorm travels at a rate of 25 mph.
    •  It is not possible to have thunder without lightning. Thunder is a direct result of lightning.
    • Lightning can have 100 million to 1 billion volts, 10,000 to 200,000 amps, and contain billions of watts.
    • Energy from lightning heats the air anywhere from 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  Note, the temperature at the surface of our sun is about 10,000 degrees.
    • The average lightning strike is 6 miles long.

    To see a short video clip of lighting hitting a docked sailboat, go to or search YouTube for Sparks Fly as Lightning Hits Sailboat in Boston Harbor.  The lightning strike occurs within the first 10 seconds of the video and it is a very strong visual to remind us that we do not want to be on a boat that is stuck by lightning.

    You can estimate how many miles you are from a lightning strike by using the flash-to-bang method.  After seeing a flash of lightning, count the number of seconds until you hear the associated thunderclap and divide that number by five.  This method will give you a good approximation of how many miles you are away from the lightning.  For example, if five seconds have elapsed, you are one mile away.  Similarly, if 25 seconds have elapsed from flash to bang, then you are 5 miles away.

    Do not put yourself, family, and/or friends at risk. To prevent being caught in a thunderstorm, you should apply the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.  Based on the flash-to-bang method and not being able to count to 30 after seeing a strike and not hearing thunder, lightning is occurring less than six miles away.   You are now well within the range of a lightning bolt of average length.  If this condition exists, you should immediately cease water sports activities and seek shelter.

  • June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Irene Luck - June 2023

    The Lake Anna Civic Association presents a “Jack Bertron Distinguished Service Award” at its annual meeting in July.  The award honors an individual or an organization that demonstrates an exceptional effort through their outstanding work for the benefit of LACA in its efforts to preserve and protect Lake Anna and its pristine beauty.  To learn more about the criteria for this important award, please click here or click to see a list of the past winners

    Nominees should be emailed to no later than July 1 and please include a brief summary of why you feel they deserve the honor.

  • June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Dave Reichert – June 2023

    LACA received a $9975 grant from DuPont to execute a project to raise awareness of how landowners can help reduce HAB and install native plants to consume nutrients that otherwise would be available for promoting harmful algal blooms. Two events were completed and additional plantings are being scheduled. We are currently looking for landowners with a long, shallow-water shoreline for in-water installation of native plants. We are also looking for owners of shorter shorelines who are interested in receiving free native aquatic plants in exchange for doing the planting themselves. We are focusing on locations up lake where the benefits of the new plantings would be greatest.

    As part of the educational outreach, 27 students from Anna Burkett’s Louisa County High School biology class and a dozen volunteers descended on the Quaglio property on Pumunkey creek for a day of learning about native plants, water quality, and the micro-organisms living in the water. They also planted 200 native plants in the water and along the shoreline. With very little arm twisting, the students convinced school superintendent Doug Straley to don waders and do some planting in the water. The weather was fabulous and the consensus was that this should become an annual event. The students followed up with a wonderful thank you note.

    The second event saw the planting of 900 native shoreline and aquatic plants along the common area at Clearview Shores. We did save a small portion of the plants for volunteers to plant along their own shoreline. Mother nature smiled upon us again with a sunny morning for our planting event which was completed in just a couple hours.

    If you are interested in volunteering your up-lake shoreline for in-water planting or volunteering your time, please reach out to our LACA Environmental Chairs, and

  • June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi - June 2023

    Dear Member,

    LACA’s annual election is coming up next month and we encourage members to run for board positions.  This year, the following positions are up for re-election:



    Region #1 - Jackson/Cuckoo - Private           

    Region #3 - Partlow                                        

    Region #5 - Belmont       

    All members are eligible to submit their name as a nominee.  Incumbents for each of these positions will serve in their position if re-elected.  LACA is always seeking a wider base of membership involvement and looks forward to welcoming new members to the Board.   Board meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month.  The Annual meeting is on the last Saturday of July. 

    Duties of the President include serving as the Chairman of the Board, being responsible for the administration, management and coordination of the Association business, and shall execute the orders and resolutions of the board. 

    Duties of the Treasurer includes receiving, disbursing and accounting for Association funds.  In addition, filing annual tax returns and other tax-exempt reporting requirements. Position descriptions for officers may be read in Policy #003 found here.

    To run for a Regional Director position, you must own or rent property in that region.  Responsibilities of the Regional Directors include communicating with their respective communities to inform constituents of actions taken by LACA and to solicit their input on current and future issues.  Also, to communicate with Property Owners’

    Associations (POA)s and/or serve on the various board committees.  The position description is contained in Policy #004 and may be read here.  If you are unsure of what region you live in, see a map of the precincts here or a description of the regional boundaries here

    If you are interested in becoming a nominee, please let us know by responding to this email.  We look forward to hearing from you and will answer any questions you may have on becoming a board member.  It’s the members who make this organization a success!

  • April 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Harry Looney – April 2023

    This is a follow-up to our newsletter in 2022 on the same subject.  You can find the 2022 newsletter at this link. The Virginia Household Water Quality Program is hosting their 2023 clinics on the dates included in the table below for each of the Lake Anna surrounding counties.  The county point of contact to register for the clinic is also provided in the table.  You can get additional information on all 2023 clinics at  


    August 23rd

    Kayleigh J Mize / 540-507-7571


    September 27th

    Crysti Hopkins / 540-967-3422


    September 27th

    Clare Lillard / 540-672-1361

    The cost for this testing is $65. Commercial labs will often charge more than $300 for this type of well water testing so the Virginia Household Water Quality Program is a great way to get your water tested for a minimum amount of money. You can find out more about the Virginia Household Water Quality Program at this link

    The Virginia Household Water Quality Program is managed by the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE).  You can find the VCE home page at You can visit your local VCE office in the table provided below or by using this link to their online listing.

    Spotsylvania 8am-4:30pm M-F (540) 507-7570

    Louisa 8:30am-5:00pm M-F (540) 967-3422

    Orange 8am-5pm M-F (540) 672-1361

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