Lakes & Watersheds Overview

Lakes & Watersheds Overview

Reston's four man-made lakes (Lake Anne, Lake Thoreau, Lake Audubon and Lake Newport) cover 125 acres and provide recreation and storm-water management for the community. While swimming and ice skating are not permitted, fishing, boating, wildlife watching and lakeside picnicking are available to RA members and their guests. Many sections of pathway are near the lakes, and simply walking near or around the lakes is a popular pursuit.

Dredging Notice

Reston Association is working with Lake Services, Inc. to dredge the accumulated sediment from the main coves of Lake Thoreau beginning at the earliest April 1. Dredging is expected to be completed by the end of June. (Click the "2018 Lake Thoreau Dredging" link in the right column on this page to download PDF and see approximate limits of dredging.) Dredging will not occur at the shoreline edge or within 5 feet of any dock structure. RA anticipates removing approximately 4200 cubic yards of material. Please contact Paul Priestley, RA’s Capital Projects Manager, at 703-435-6541 or with questions.

No Swimming

Swimming is prohibited in Reston's lakes and ponds. The bodies of water include lakes Anne, Audubon, Thoreau and Newport, as well as Butler and Bright ponds. Reston has ample opportunities for swimming, with 14 outdoor pools available during the summer. The lakes are designed for storm-water management and are not maintained or monitored for swimming. There are no lifeguards and often few people around during the daytime. Parents are reminded to discuss the hazards of lake swimming with their children.

Shoreline Stabilization

Each year requests are submitted to the Design Review Board for shoreline stabilization projects including installation of bulkhead and riprap.

Over the years, Reston Association has received numerous calls for advice on shoreline stabilization. Many of these calls pertain to problems with existing bulkheads that have been improperly constructed and/or maintained or have simply deteriorated with age.

RA also receives calls from property owners adjacent to bulkheading applications who have experienced accelerated erosion as a result of the wave energy traveling down the bulkhead and scouring the adjacent unprotected shoreline. In many cases, hard conventional stabilization applications such as bulkheading and riprap are unnecessary. Vegetative stabilization is more appropriate and beneficial.

Shoreline Stabilization Guidelines (PDF)

Reston's shoreline management efforts have recently been featured on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website highlighting community initiatives for encouraging more environmentally friendly techniques.