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Camping in Comfort: Suspended growth tertiary treatment systems enable a Virginia state park to expand its visitor facilities

In 1971, 17-mile-long Lake Anna was created to serve as a water coolant for Virginia Power’s nuclear plant. The surrounding 2,058 acres in Spotsylvania were known as Gold Hill and contained the defunct Goodwin Gold Mine. The Virginia Division of Parks joined the two properties and established Lake Anna State Park in 1983. Today, private cottages surround the lake, which is a popular summer vacation spot.

Accommodating more than 200,000 visitors annually placed a premium on the park’s overnight facilities, and in 2004 construction began on 47 new campsites for recreational vehicles, two comfort stations, bathhouse, RV dump station, well house, and a laundry and linen storage facility.

Design of the multiple onsite system fell to Claire Smith, P.E., of Hankins and Anderson Consulting Engineers in Richmond, Va. “The site required low-pressure distribution,” she says.

“The density of campsites left no room for sleeved pipe, which is a smaller pressure distribution pipe inserted into a larger drainage pipe within a gravel bed. I also was concerned that heavy equipment would compact the sand and jeopardize the system’s performance.”

Contractor Bucky Carroll of the Stamie E. Lyttle Co. in Richmond recommended lightweight chambers that didn’t need gravel and significantly reduced man-hours. Many of the new facilities were operational in time for the 2005 summer season.

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