Good news for fans of golf and jet-age, tepid water-powered air conditioning systems: this weekend's rains added "about four inches" to the level of Lake Anne, helping eliminate that unsightly Ring Around The
Tub Lake that had all our planned community neighbors gossiping at the last bridge club shindig. The shame!
Before the rain, the lake had been down by at least 16 inches, according to this press release from our BFFs at the Reston Association, which also acknowledged that the low lake levels helped "make the inside temperatures higher than usual in many of the homes" served by RELAC, which responded by adding a jet-age "auxiliary pump" to add more water to the system (pictured below).
Behold your rate hike at work!
Last week, the low water levels led to more than the usual grousing and finger-pointing about RELAC and the Hidden Creek Golf Course, which (successfully) went to court several years ago for the right to pump as much water as it wants from the lake to
satiate the bourgeoise pretensions of its members irrigate its golf course. In a statement, the RA pointed out that it "has not been successful in our attempts to work with the golf course management." (It has since said it was told that Hidden Creek officials "cut back on irrigation during this time.") The RA is also organizing a task force to "determine the next steps to meet the long-term need."
Could that mean the eventual demise of our jet-age cooling miracle? If you read between the lines of this comment in an article by our BFFs at Patch, it sounds like the company that bought the system some years ago is losing patience with the whole situation as well.
[Aqua Virginia Chief Operating Officer Shannon] Becker says Aqua is frustrated too. The RELAC system - which may be the only one of its type remaining - takes up time and resources for the company. Low water levels, storm debris and pumps that can overheat and shut down are among the issues Aqua Virginia is facing, he says.The last attempt to ditch the system was in 2005, when a referendum was defeated 130-100. It's unclear why the other 70 or so homes required to use the RELAC system chose not to vote, but such is the miracle of Democracy In Action.
"We have two full time operators working on the system," he said. "That is out of the norm. We are in the water and sewer business. We are not in the AC business, and our operating metric is not typically two people to 300 customers."
"We are working with RA to make sure people are aware of issues and determine what we need to do to go forward."