Two public meetings were held on February 15 and 16, 2023 to share the results of additional analysis on the lake dredging and smaller offline lake management options. The dredging of Lake Accotink would cause significant environmental and social impacts and cost approximately $400 million over the next twenty-five years. The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) staff recommend that Lake Accotink not be dredged and that a smaller offline lake not be constructed. A public comment period and survey on the DPWES staff recommendations ended on April 1, 2023. A copy of the survey results can be accessed through links under Presentations to the Community on this page.
The Board of Supervisors approved formation of the Task Force on the Future of Lake Accotink in May 2023 to review county staff recommendation and provide findings. The Task Force concluded its work and reported to the Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee on December 12, 2023.
Lake Accotink was constructed by the United States Army in 1940 as a freshwater supply for Camp Humphreys (now Fort Belvoir). Intense development in the 30 square mile watershed draining to the lake following World War II resulted in the lake losing 50 percent of its capacity. The US Army dredged the lake prior to transferring it to Fairfax County in 1967. A second wave of development in the 1960s and 1970s added significant sediment to the lake. The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) conducted a study in 1982 showing that the lake volume had been reduced to about 25 percent of its original compacity. The FCPA dredged the lake to restore capacity in 1985. By 2001 the lake had filled up again with sediment at a rate of more than 17,000 cubic yards per year. The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) partnered with FCPA to dredge the lake again in 2008. Analysis in 2016 estimated that the lake is now filling up again at about 23,000 cubic yards of sediment per year.
The project will also help the county meet is MS4 permit requirements. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a sediment total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Accotink Creek Watershed in August 2017. Wasteload allocations to Fairfax County under the Accotink Creek TMDL assume different loading rates upstream and downstream of Lake Accotink. Additionally, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s model for the Chesapeake Bay includes Lake Accotink and assumes that a relative trapping efficiency of about 50 percent for the lake will be maintained by Fairfax County to prevent increases in sediment entering the bay.
The Lake Accotink dredging project will remove an estimated 500,000 cubic yards of sediment to reestablish lake depth and put in place a maintenance dredging program to sustain water quality in Accotink Creek and aesthetic and recreational benefits for county residents.
The project is in the Braddock Magisterial District in Lake Accotink and Wakefield Parks in the Accotink Creek Watershed.
Restore and maintain aesthetic and recreational benefits for county residents
Protect water quality in Accotink Creek and meet regulatory requirements
The project is in the concept plan development phase which will identify where activities will occur and preparation of refined cost estimates for dredging operations.
Complete Alternatives Analysis
Complete Construction Plans
Construction Ongoing Through
Warranty and Monitoring
What To Expect
Field studies, plan development and public meetings will take place through 2022. Dredging will start in summer 2023 and run through 2026. When construction occurs, there will be truck traffic to the project sites, a temporary pipeline running between Lake Accotink and Wakefield Park, dredging equipment operating in Lake Accotink and spoils processing operations in Wakefield Park. Residents should expect dump trucks moving to and from Wakefield Park via Braddock Road to remove dredged sediments throughout the week, starting after 7 a.m. on weekdays. Be advised at some periods during construction work may occur on weekends, beginning at 9 a.m.