The Lake History

fall_8The Lake History

In the beginning years of development, the lake was used for swimming, boating and fishing. In the spring of 1986, in order to provide access to the lake for non-lakefront owners, the SCA purchased a paddleboat. Around 2002, the paddle boat was sold due to the increased liability insurance costs.   In April of 1988, a seawall and boardwalk was built at the dam end of the lake.  This large project was accomplished using all Surreywood volunteers.  In April of 2006, the boardwalk underwent a complete resurfacing under Lake Chairman, Elmer Remson.

After twenty years, it was apparent the lake was declining in water health and depth. The coves were filling in with silt, and the overall lake was not as deep as it was in 1968.

The civic association had begun to put funds aside each year for care of the lake, but in 1988, the accumulated fund had only about $12,000.  The estimated cost to dredge the lake was $40,000 to $60,000.   The SCA started a pledge program to raise the difference.  The entire community, especially the lakefront owners, made significant contributions totaling  $31, 600, to make dredging the lake a reality. In 1988, John Benda, a mechanical engineer by profession, and a lakefront owner on Lake Forest Drive, under took the task of finding a reasonable, cost-effective way to dredge the lake.

The dredging project began on October 23, 1989.  The Lake Anna Dredging Company was selected to do the work.  They used the lake dock and parking lot as their staging area. Their dredging method entailed the use of a barge with a mechanical clamshell and amphibious dredger. The barge offloaded the slit into dump trucks. About 3700 cubic yards of silt was removed from the lake bottom. Providentially, the Swim club owned unused land behind the pool, in a flood plain that the county approved as a dumpsite for the lake slit. Many volunteers helped with surveying, measuring lake depth at many points in the lake, counting truckloads, moving boat racks, etcetera, helped to keep costs down.  The project was finally completed on December 14, 1989 at a total cost of $45,604.00.

In 1998, the SCA determined it was time to dredge the lake for the second time, as the coves were unsanitary and not navigable.  Lake Chairman, Wilton Ford, a lakefront owner, developed a  committee of volunteers, including Randy Early, Harry Kline, Jim Rose,  Jay Russell, and Penn Zentmeyer, who stepped up to manage the project, begin the planning process of dredging the lake. At that time there was $55,000 the lake restricted fund.  Several dredging companies were interviewed, all indicating the cost would run to between $150.000 and $200.000.  Then Harry Kline offered a suggestion made by his wife, Mary.  “Why not drain the lake, let it dry out and then put the necessary heavy equipment on the lake bed?”  She also suggested using the spoils to make another island. The idea of creating another island was rejected and with some adjustments to the original spoil site behind the community pool, we again could use this area for depositing the sediment. Four lakefront owners agreed to permit access to the lake from their properties.

The lake valve was partial opened on September 24, 1998.  Within two weeks the lake reached it lowest level and the lake waters began to recede.  Shoosmith Bros. was selected as the dredging contractor.  They provided separate pricing for each of the six locations that needed dredging attention and the bid was $50,950.

On November 30, 1998, Shoosmith began moving in their equipment and completed the work on December 11, 1998.  By using this dry lakebed method for dredging the SCA was able to remove 8-10 times the amount of sediment for about the same amount of money. At the end of the project, over 4000 cubic yards of sediment was removed from the lake at cost of $62,655.  This amount included an area of dredging that was not in the original plan of work.

In 2009 the two coves at Surreywood Dr and at Stonetree had filled in again and it was time for another dredging.

On August first the lake valve was opened. The lake was lowered to just below the top of the drainpipe. The contactor chosen was B.G. Nelson.

To make room for the new spoils the contractor demolished the crumbling cinder block tennis practice walls behind the tennis courts. They removed the broken basketball court and broken chain link fence. A temporary road through the property at 7842 Lakeforest was built and over 115 truckloads of dry soil from the old dumpsite were transported to this area and graded. This created more room to dump our new spoils at the old site next to the volleyball court.

The contractor started moving equipment into the neighborhood on October 22nd.

Because of record-breaking rainfalls followed by record-breaking snowfalls, the dredging took much longer than anticipated and continued throughout the winter. Stone had to be brought in to the dumpsite as trucks we getting stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out.

The main silt –filled cove at Surreywood drive was cleared of two trees, deepened and rip rap from the county was installed.

By the time the lake was finished in late May of 2010 we had dredged the two coves, the area around the island, the boat ramp area and the creek next to the playground. We had also got new gravel on our lake access road and yard restoration. A survey company was used and determined we had removed a total of  1,964 cubic yards of material from the lake. The total cost was about $87,000.

For many years, larger and larger flocks of geese made their home on Lake Surreywood and for about as long, they were a nuisance for the lakefront owners.  Some owners could hardly use their backyards due to the geese droppings, that also fowled the lake. In July of 2010, the SCA contacted the Federal Department of Wildlife to assist us in the removal of 40 geese.

Also in July of 2010, new commercial grade park benches were purchased and installed at three locations along the boardwalk.

Lake Access

At the center of our community is Lake Surreywood, a man-made lake fed by natural springs and open to any SCA member for fishing, boating, or simply enjoying the view. Having recently dredged the Lake, re-stained the boardwalk and installed new benches, our lake has never been such a beautiful place to relax with family and enjoy a bit of nature.

Lake Rules

  • Lake use (including boardwalk and boat launch) are for SCA members and their accompanied guests only.
  • Our lake is primarily surrounded by private property.  Respect people’s property and do not trespass.
  • Please remove any trash that you brought with you.  Leave the lake as clean as or cleaner than you found it.
  • Do not feed the wildlife, especially geese.  Goose droppings contribute to the silt and algae in the lake and are a health hazard.
  • All boats on the lake must have an SCA sticker on each side to indicate that the boat is owned by a SCA member. To acquire these stickers (or a key to the access road) please contact our Lake Chairman at lake@surreywoodcivicassociation.com.

Boat Rack

Located near the boat launch, the SCA has built a boat rack for convenient storage of canoes, row boats, or kayaks.  These racks are available to any Civic Association member to lease at a rate of $20 annually.  If you would like to have your name added to the waiting list, email our Lake Chairman at lake@surreywoodcivicassociation.com.