Chesterfield could face voluntary water restrictions Monday

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - As early as Monday people in Chesterfield County and surrounding communities could be under voluntary water restrictions.

The water level at Lake Chesdin is three inches away from the trigger mark. If the water level at the dam continues to drop over the weekend, people who get their water from the reservoir may be asked to ease up on chores like watering your lawn.

Carter Baker would much rather be sitting on the pier at Lake Chesdin anyway, than at home checking off his "to do" list.

"Don't wash your car. I can live with that, you know what I'm saying. You know what I mean," said Baker, who lives minutes from the lake.

Right now, the water level is nine inches below the top of the dam. Appomattox River Water Authority's Chris Dawson said it's dropped an inch per day this week.

If the level reaches 12 inches below the dam by Monday, which is the threshold for June, the water authority will call for voluntary restrictions.

"If we exclude 2010, 2008 was the last year we went into voluntary restrictions and we're right where we were on this day in 2008," said Dawson.

But no one can forget the summer of 2010 at Lake Chesdin and the water authority board doesn't want to see a repeat pattern.

To give you an idea of just how low the water got out here last summer, this pier was standing on dry land. The water authority board just modified the trigger level for mandatory restrictions. That after a promise last fall to help preserve the need for recreation on the lake as well as water usage in the homes.

Dawson said the trigger will never be lower than 72 inches, but could be higher based on projected demands.

"This year we're using a formula that doesn't adjust the flow past the upstream gauge, but it does take flow coming from a side stream called Deep Creek that comes up below the run of the river gauge. It does increase water flow from that water shed area," said Dawson.

Baker is on the lake three times a week. He said he hasn't noticed a big difference, but is more than happy to help conserve.

"It's not a big thing to say don't water your lawn," said Baker.

A new gauge was installed on the Appomattox River at River Road this week. It could take 9 to 18 months to build up prediction information.

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