Construction of a new primary outlet structure and connecting pipeline at Virginia Lake is underway, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The circulation project will be an important lake management change and is expected to improve water quality.
There will be construction detours on the east end of the lake to allow pedestrians to be able to complete a walking circuit around the lake.
This project is the result of the Virginia Lake Water Quality Improvement Project.
The City hosted three public meetings (September 18 and December 4, 2014; and June 2, 2015) to present information regarding potential water quality improvement actions at Virginia Lake. People who attended the most recent public meeting voted in favor of implementing the circulation project, which has been designed to eliminate short-circuiting of incoming fresh water and consequent stagnation occurring at the southern end of the lake.
A 1,300-foot pipeline will be submerged along the eastern perimeter of the lake. This will connect the existing outlet at the northeast end to a new relocated outlet structure near the southeast shore in order to improve lake circulation.
Noticeable changes to Virginia Lake’s water quality will not occur, however, until flow within the Truckee River reaches a normal level and water again enters the lake via the Cochran Ditch along the northwest shore of the lake.
The current drought condition at Virginia Lake (no water flowing in from the Truckee River) and the resulting low lake level occurs only during extraordinary drought years, or only 10 percent of the time since 1960.