Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Better Know a Reservoir: Sugar Hollow

Sugar Hollow Reservoir
Photo credit: Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority
Guess who’s turning seventy this year! Sugar Hollow Reservoir, built in 1947, draws from the pristine mountain waters of Shenandoah National Park in the northwest portion of Albemarle County. From Sugar Hollow, water flows through a 13-mile pipeline to the Ragged Mountain Reservoir and on to the Observatory Water Treatment Plant providing water to the University community as well as ACSA customers near and west of the US Rt. 250 Bypass.

When is a lake actually a reservoir? Reservoirs are man-made lakes created by building a dam. They store water that is later treated for domestic use.

Water spilling over the dam flows into the Moormans River which is a tributary to the South Fork Rivanna River. These three interconnected reservoirs act as one system to adequately provide the drinking water for our urban area now and in the future.

Sugar Hollow Reservoir is stocked with rainbow and brook trout as part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ “put-n-take” trout. 

Every year, from October to June, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries stocks over 1.2 million catchable-size trout across the Commonwealth. Sugar Hollow’s cold, clean, and pure waters are great spawning grounds for this popular and delicious fish which can grow to as much as 16 inches long and 40 pounds in weight. Also lurking beneath the rocks and crevices of the reservoir are the prized Brook Trout which has provided the grist for many a “fish story”.

Sugar Hollow Reservoir Fast Facts
Useable volume:
324 million gallons
Surface area:
47 acres
Watershed area:
18 square miles

Want to learn more about local reservoirs? Read the Reservoir Water Quality and Management Study: A First Look from Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority.

Photo credit: Andrew Shurtleff