Swift Creek Reservoir

Precious Community Resource

Situated in Chesterfield County Virginia, the Swift Creek Reservoir is a precious resource in the community, serving as a source of drinking water and recreational activities.

Current Level and Weather Conditions

The spillway of the Swift Creek Reservoir is at an elevation of 176.9 feet. On Monday, September 25, 2023, the Swift Creek Reservoir level was 1.2" below the spillway. View the current weather conditions at the reservoir.

Algal Monitoring and Control

Swift Creek Reservoir is not immune to the impact of minor algae blooms, which can increase both water quality monitoring and water treatment costs. Recognizing the importance of ensuring safety and water quality, Chesterfield County has taken a proactive approach to tackling the issue of algae and has invested in cutting-edge technologies, including the deployment of two LG Sonic MPC-Buoy in 2017 and a third upgraded unit, the LG Sonic Vertical Profiler, in November 2022.

LG Sonic Ultrasound Technology

Advancing Water Quality through Innovation

Despite their natural occurrence, the high presence of algae can impact water quality and produce unpleasant smells and tastes. Some types of algae, such as blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), may even produce toxins harmful to humans and aquatic life. Anabaena is present in many natural waters including the 1700-acre Swift Creek Reservoir.

The Chesterfield County Department of Utilities is vigilant in monitoring and managing Anabaena growth as well as other potential problem algal species. To tackle this challenge, Chesterfield County Utilities has placed a strong emphasis on innovative technologies, including the LG Sonic MPC-Buoy system. This system uses low-power ultrasound to create a constant pressure cycle around the algal cells, interrupting their buoyancy regulation and disrupting their ability to access sunlight and nutrients. (Ultrasound targets the problem algae, causing them to safely sink to the bottom of the reservoir without harming water quality. Due to the limited light at deeper water depths, the algae are unable to survive.)

The MPC-Buoy has no negative impact on aquatic life and is a cost-effective solution to maintaining water quality. The units are triangular in shape and work using environmentally-friendly solar power.

Consistent Water Quality, Trouble-Free Summer

Since the installation of LG Sonic technology in 2017 with two LG Sonic MPC-Buoys, the water quality in Swift Creek Reservoir has been consistently excellent in the intake bay where the MPC-Buoys have been strategically installed.Even during the hot summer months, when algae blooms are most common in the United States, the Swift Creek Reservoir Intake Bay remained to be good quality. Real-time water quality data collected by the buoys has showed positive results from July 1 to Sept. 30, with measurements consistently rated as "Excellent to Good."

LG Sonic Buoy LocationsThe white triangles indicate the approximate LG Sonic buoy locations at the water treatment intake bay in the Swift Creek Reservoir.

Advanced Monitoring Systems Above and Below the Surface

To further enhance its water quality monitoring capabilities, in November 2022, Chesterfield County Utilities added a third upgraded unit, the LG Sonic Vertical Profiler. This system provides high-resolution measurements of water quality parameters at multiple depths, giving an in-depth view of Swift Creek Reservoir. With this advanced monitoring system, Chesterfield County is even better equipped to monitor, predict, and control water quality in the reservoir. This is the first deployment of the LG Sonic Vertical Profiler in the entire United States. As this is a new technology, the Utilities Department is providing useful feedback to improve the software’s data display to increase its user friendliness.

Plant Manager David Sirois emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to monitoring algae blooms, recognizing that it exists not only on the water's surface but throughout the entire water column: "The unit that we got this year is special in the fact that it can go up and down the water column. Being able to survey throughout the water column gives us a better picture of what's going on with blue-green algae and consequent water quality."

With cutting-edge technology and a commitment to improving water quality, Chesterfield County is setting a high standard for water management and ensuring that its residents have access to safe and high-quality water.

LG Sonic BuoyOne of the LG Sonic buoys located in the water treatment plant intake bay.

Hydrilla Status Updates and Survey Maps

Hydrilla is a genus of aquatic plant, with a high resistance to salinity compared to many other freshwater-associated aquatic plants.