Hot Springs Village Lakes Sophia and Maria shoreliners received notification from the HSVPOA that the ’23/’24 drawdown of their lakes is set to commence on Monday, October 2, 2023. Opening the lake valves will allow the lakes to be lowered six feet or more. Expected to last approximately four months, drawdowns of both lakes will occur simultaneously. All uncited quotes below are from a letter sent to Lakes Sophia and Maria shorelines.
“Mechanical dredging will take place on both Lake Sophia and Lake Maria. From the input received, substantially more Property Owners need seawall and boat dock repair on Lake Maria. For that reason, dredging will begin on Lake Sophia. Once dredging has been completed on Lake Sophia, all equipment will be moved to Lake Maria for dredging to begin.”
What is a lake drawdown in Hot Springs Village?
Lake drawdown in Hot Springs Village is a process whereby the water level on a lake or pond controlled by a dam, or other structure is lowered and held at a reduced level for some time, typically for several months. The two lakes will lose approximately two to three inches of water daily. The rate of daily water loss will be dependent on rainfall.
The maps below show the access points (in red) for equipment and dump trucks. Efforts will be made to access all areas in the projected dredge area.
What is the purpose of a lake drawdown?
Drawdowns on Hot Springs Village lakes are done in a rotating schedule for silt removal, to reduce the reoccurrence of aquatic vegetation, and to improve shoreline access and water quality. The drawdowns allow the shoreliners to perform maintenance on their existing docks and seawalls or construct new ones.
“Each lake has been surveyed for sediment volumes. There are approximately 8,250 cubic yards of material in each lake.”
How long can we expect this to take?
“The valve will be closed as early as February 1, 2024, or as late as February 29, 2024, to allow the lakes to refill. Closing the valve and refilling the lakes will begin when dredge operations have been completed on both lakes.”
“Both lakes will remain drawn down until the closing date of the valve, even after dredging has been completed, to allow any exposed sediments to freeze as a secondary measure for eradicating aquatic vegetation.”
It is estimated that the dredging of each lake will take three weeks.
“Permits are required to construct seawalls, boat docks, and other lakefront structures and to shape sediments under and around boat docks. Permits for constructing seawalls, boat docks, and other lakefront structures are issued through the Permitting and Inspections Department at 501.922.5562 and may require a fee.”
Permits for removing sediments under or around boat docks are free and issued through the Permitting and Inspections Department. Any work done by residents (seawall construction, dock construction, dredging under docks, etc.) will be at owners’ expense.
Storing boats during the drawdown
“The Architectural Control Committee has agreed to allow residents to store boats (on trailers) at their residences temporarily during the drawdown, subject to the following criteria:
- The boat must be registered with the POA and display a POA sticker on the boat and trailer.
- Boats can only be stored on trailers.
- Boat owners must obtain a 4-month permit from Permitting and Inspections for temporary boat storage (no charge) at their lot address. This allows the POA to record what boats are stored and when and ensure they are moved at the end of the drawdown.
- Boats (on trailers) must be stored at the side of the house or on the driveway. If this is impossible because of the lot’s topography, boats may be stored in the front yard if properly screened from the street.
- No boats may be stored on the street or at the roadside.
- All boats must be moved at the end of the drawdown period (expected to be four months) or be subject to a fine if not relocated.
Am I required to remove boats, boat docks, and irrigation lines for the drawdown?
If owners choose, boats, boat docks, and irrigation lines can remain in place, sitting on the bottom of the lake as the water recedes. If sediments are removed from an area with boats, boat docks, and irrigation lines left in place, the POA will only get within three feet of the boats, boat docks, or irrigation lines. Sediment and other materials unable to be removed by the POA due to the non-removal of boats, boat docks, or irrigation lines left in place will fall under the owners’ responsibility.
List of Boat Dock Contractors Providing Various Lake Services (This is not an endorsement or recommendation by the HSVPOA.)
- Nick Daily 501.984.2477
- Super Duty Docks 501.525.0000
- Williamson Docks 501.623.7698
- Jacob Castleberry 501.209.0643
- Terry Anderson 501.209.2404
- Larry Diggs Construction 501.525.9550
List of Contractors Providing Various Seawall Services (This is not an endorsement or recommendation by the HSVPOA.)
- Bennett Bros. 501.984.5040
- Brian Bean 501.627.3034
- Casa Verde 501.609.9900
- Terry Anderson 501.209.2404
- Irrigation Pro & Landscaping 501.620.3319
- Graves Landscaping & Stonework 501.622.0260
If you have any questions concerning the drawdown, please call the Lakes Management Department at 501.922.2291.
Cover image: 2022 drawdown of Lake Cortez
By Cheryl Dowden (Letter and maps provided by Ken Guzel of the HSVPOA Lakes Committee)