Nov 27, 2018

Timberlake, Va., Seeks Sediment Control Solutions

The lakeside community is advocating for a local watershed improvement district to control sediment

Sediment control problems in Timberlake, Va.
Sediment control problems in Timberlake, Va.

Timberlake, Va., residents have advocated for the creation of a local watershed improvement district in order to dredge Timber Lake, which has increasingly filled with sediment following a 1995 dam collapse. Additionally, a recent Aug. 2 flood event compounded years of sedimentation in the lake and has contributed to a need for dredging in shallower areas.

Residents will spend $500,000 in private funds to dredge the lake this upcoming fall, as reported by local news source News Advance. The lake, created in 1926 by a dam on Buffalo Creek, has further been damaged by urbanization and poor management of construction site runoff.

“92 years of development around us has caused irreversible damage to our lake,” said DD Gillett, president of the Timberlake Homeowner’s Assn. “Every new road, every new development, every new parking lot associated with a new business in any one of the three sub-basins that surround Timber Lake have all caused erosion and massive amounts of sedimentation to find its way downstream to our lake.”

In addition to lake dredging efforts, the Homeowner’s Assn. is advocating for increased standards for developers to protect the watershed and manage construction site runoff, as well as incorporate best management practices. Gillett has encouraged local developers to build grass culverts and retention ponds to manage runoff.

“Now, that basin has eroded to the point that all the initial erosion control measures are gone, they have collapsed so we just have raw dirt that continues to be destabilized every time it rains,” Gillett said.

Residents already have spent $10,000 to survey the lake, but hope to receive federal or state funds.