Lake Anna Life & Times Summer 20 1 8 7 Lake Anna Water Quality Monitoring Reveals Spring E. Coli Spike VDOT Engineer Optimistic Lake Anna Roundabout Plan Solves Traffic Issues Lake Anna Life & Times caught up with a very busy Alan Saun- ders, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Resi- dency Engineer for Louisa, and asked him about the controver- sial plan to construct a round- about (traffic circle) at the inter- section of Rt. 208 and Rt. 522 (Wares Crossroads). While many Lake Anna area residents agree this is a danger- ous intersection, they do not all agree a $5.4 million roundabout is the best solution. A poll on Lake Anna Life’s Facebook site reflected an overwhelming ma- jority thought a roundabout was: 1) excessive, 2) too expensive and 3) would cause additional problems for trucks and boat trailers, not to mention the Dick- inson’s Store entrance on Rt. 208. Here are Saunders’ responses to our interview questions: Why do you and VDOT engi- neers think a roundabout will solve traffic issues at 522/208? The Manual on Uniform Traf- fic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, or  “MUTCD”  is published by the Federal High- way Administration (FHWA), and defines the standards used by traffic engineers nationwide to install and maintain traffic con- trol devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel. The MUTCD specifies nine conditions or “warrants” that an intersection must meet to jus- tify a  signal installation.  When VDOT traffic engineers evalu- ated the intersection at Route 208/522, their analysis indicated that a new signal was not “war- continued on page 13 ranted” according to MUTCD requirements.  However, due to safety concerns, roadway geom- etry, and traffic volumes at Lake Anna, VDOT recommended a roundabout as an alternative solution that would both improve safety and operational efficiency at the intersection.  A roundabout is a specific type of circular intersection designed to control speeds and having spe- continued on page 13 See Also: Lake Anna Real Estate p. 8 Safety Summit p. 10 Marine 2 p. 16 Lake Anna Winery p. 19 Lake Rises Two Feet p. 20 Lake Anna Rescue Drill p. 21 Clear, clean water is what in- trinsically attracts people to Lake Anna. It’s also what essentially powers the humming economic engine of the lake’s businesses, which in turn, funnel tax dollars into the surrounding counties’ treasuries. Keeping track of that essential, intrinsic business market-driving factor is important. For over 20 years now, the Lake Anna Civic Association (LACA), along with the Virginia Depart- ment of Environmental Qual- ity (VDEQ) have monitored lake water with very few issues. Re- cently, though something unusual occurred. After a round of routine, sched- uled water quality testing by trained LACA volunteers and DEQ staff in April, results indi- cated elevated levels of E. Coli bacteria – the kind associated with fecal material in water. “This year has been an unusual year. Our scheduled test for April followed a heavy rain – the first real rain after a winter of drought conditions.  As a result the wa- tershed had a build-up of con- taminates that resulted in record high E. Coli at many of the testing sites.  “Some sites had as much as 50 times as much E. Coli as the sug- gested limit for safe recreational use of the water,” LACA Presi- dent Doug Smith told Lake Anna Life & Times recently.  LACA quickly brought the re- sults to the attention of members and the public through emails and Facebook.  Since Memorial Day was approaching, many folks asked in early May; “Is it safe for recreation now?”.  To address this public concern, Smith had the LACA water qual- ity monitor volunteers out again in May. “LACA was able to perform a much lesser, out-of-cycle test for E. Coli alone in May. The results showed a return to safe levels except for upper reaches in the Spotsylvania side.  “Regular scheduled testing in June confirmed the return to safe levels except for the extreme up- per Pamunkey,” Smith noted. A theory holds that agricultural activity in the upper portions of the lake creates livestock manure runoff after periods of prolonged drought followed by heavy rain. Bacteria in the runoff multiplied in the lake until conditions change and the bacteria exhaust their food source. Over the years LACA has worked with VDEQ to develop a compre- hensive monitoring program for both the warm side and public side of Lake Anna.  Each year a plan is developed by LACA and VDEQ to set the dates and sites for monitoring with a few sites done by VDEQ and the remain- ing 25 sites done by LACA volun- teers.  Annual monitoring events are conducted in April, June, August, and October.  Each monitoring event consists of a day of train- ing and calibration of sophisti- cated monitoring equipment with Water testing results from April 16 provided by the LACA and the VDEQ showed high levels of E.Coli bacteria. the help of VDEQ, followed by a day of sample collection by LACA monitoring teams.  Samples are collected and sent via VDEQ to the State lab for analysis. In about a week, LACA receives the results.  Samples for E. Coli which impact the recreational use of the lake, dissolved oxygen which impacts the health of the fish population and acidity, which can result in fish kills, are posted on the LACA web site www.lakeannavirginia. org.  These and all remaining pa- rameters such as turbidity, tem- perature, nitrates and others are included in statewide data base of water quality.    “The level of E.Coli is a major concern for lake users. LACA has worked to improve our ability to get the word out when there is a concern and to provide a capabil- ity to do emergency testing that allows an ‘all-clear’ notice as well.  But the value of the monitoring program goes well beyond E. Coli in providing data to support longer term analysis of trends in water quality that can impact the lake, its aquatics, and its ecosystem.  dock talk BY WALTER CLAXTON BY C.C. MCCOTTER cific traffic control features. The FHWA Office of Safety identified roundabouts as a proven safety countermeasure because of their ability to substantially reduce the