January 11, 2021

Contact: Uwe Weindel, Director of Capitol Programs, (804) 367-1295



RICHMOND, VA- The Chandlers Mill Pond Dam reconstruction project was complete in August 2020, and the pool was also filled at that time. During the major rain storm beginning on November 12, 2020, water rose up to the structure and eventually overtopped the embankments, as well as Route 3.

While the structure sustained this storm, overtopping of the dam and the roadway should not occur during normal operation of the dam. During and immediately following this storm, the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) conducted an inspection of the structure in order to identify the cause of the high water to avoid this in the future.

During the time period following the failure of the prior dam at the pond, and while the new dam was under construction, the reduced pond allowed various grasses and reeds to grow. This vegetation,  not of the type that survives being submerged, died after refilling of the pond. It was determined that during the November storm, the screening on the tower part of the dam became clogged with a matting of grasses, reeds and leaves that had broken loose from the bed of the pond due to the flooding. The result of this restricting of flow was to overtop the crest of the dam as well as flooding Route 3 just east of the existing bridge.

The DWR is taking actions to prevent recurrence of this type of event to allow for proper operation of the dam. Additional caging will be introduced to control floating debris. The area will also receive regrading to allow for more free flow of storm water while still allowing for the integrity of the dam structure to be retained. Erosion experienced during the November storm will likewise be corrected.

The DWR is anticipating the designs to take about three weeks from the date of this update, and the required permitting and bidding process can thereafter proceed. Construction is hoped to commence by early to mid-February.  In the meantime, the pond is being purposely maintained at a low level,  specifically for the purposes of preventing any flooding concerns until the improvements noted above can be completed. The pond will be refilled following the completion of work, and the Department is anticipating the  pool to be maintained at a level approximately a foot lower than previous in order to  allow for additional water storage during weather events.

It is hoped that work can be complete, and  the pool refilled, in time for public use during the most desirable portion of the year. Completion of this work will also allow the DWR to proceed toward stocking of the pond, which has not yet been undertaken.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Uwe Weindel, Director of Capitol Programs, at (804) 367-1295.

Associated Document