The City of Lynchburg has started refilling College Lake – but only on a temporary basis. City officials say the lake will return until a new Lakeside Drive bridge is built and the current dam is then removed. The intent is to reduce the amount of sediment washing downstream into Blackwater Creek – and to keep the dam’s emergency outfall free of debris.

Lynchburg City News Release: Effective October 19, 2018, the City of Lynchburg is temporarily refilling College Lake to full pond until a new bridge is built for Lakeside Drive and the current dam is removed. Refilling the lake will reduce the debris clogs at the dam’s emergency outfall and slow the sediment that is currently being washed into the downstream reaches of Blackwater Creek and the James River. This decision has been made in full cooperation with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Dam Safety Office (DCR), as well as with the University of Lynchburg.

This refilling of College Lake is only a temporary measure to allow the City to maintain control of the dam (specifically regarding the dam’s emergency outfall which must be kept free of debris) and to reduce the amount of sediment washing downstream into Blackwater Creek and the James River.

As part of our agreement with DCR, the Emergency Action Plan will be edited to include more robust monitoring measures like real-time sensors and cameras that will allow the City to anticipate and respond to any issues at the dam before they occur.

Additionally, the City will continue its partnership with the University of Lynchburg to determine the best path forward in stabilizing Blackwater Creek in the lakebed and establishing a wetland learning laboratory that will serve as a unique resource for both the University and the greater Lynchburg community.

For more information, call the Department of Water Resources at (434) 455-4250.