Appomattox River authority lifts water restrictions

By Ben Garbarek  - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Water restrictions for all five communities that use Lake Chesdin were lifted late Friday. That includes Chesterfield County, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties. While the lake has made its way back, it may not be easy for some businesses.

April Hess runs AJ's market about a quarter of a mile from the water's edge. She says her business thrives off boaters, but the low water levels this year have led her to cut her hours and lifting the restrictions now doesn't undo the damage.

"I was very relieved but it's too late in the ballgame, too late in the ballgame. This business right here is a seasonal business more or less and when the water went down we had two really good weekends and once the water went down we lost business," said Hess.

Officials in charge of the water on Lake Chesdin say the lake is rather resilient. It took several weeks for water levels to get back to normal but gradually it was able to make it.

"It came up almost ten feet in just a few days and then it slowly filled up the rest of the way with the smaller storms that we've had," said Chris Dawson with the Appomattox River Water Authority.

Some near the lake fear water restrictions and low levels are becoming an annual tradition.

"This was the worst but last year it happened and it's very frustrating and it's something that's obviously continuous. Why can't it be fixed so it won't continue to happen because it seems we have the same thing and it keeps getting worse and worse," said Dawson.

But Hess hopes next year will be different.

"Hopefully it'll be fixed for next year. Hopefully we'll have a great summer next year. We'll look forward to that," she said.

Officials say it's unlikely restrictions will have to be put back into place again this year. Typically water usage falls with the temperatures and so far this year has been no different.

Water officials say they're looking at how they can prevent water levels from dropping in the future as low as they did this summer. They admit some of the regulations should have been updated sooner.

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