Project Overview

photo-oct-29-4-52-02-pmCranston’s Mill Pond (CMP), a 55-acre impoundment in James City County, VA has been in existence since the mid-1800s. In its modern state (since 2011), CMP is authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Nutrient Offset Facility. Essentially, it captures phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment from the surrounding seven square mile watershed and prevents negative effects to the downstream Chickahominy River, James River and Chesapeake Bay. This unique resource is jointly owned and managed by the Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Land Trust and Restoration Systems. These partners are now proposing that the CMP be permitted as a raw water supply and be utilized, to its maximum extent possible, as a partial solution to a very serious problem facing the Eastern part of the Commonwealth – declining availability of groundwater as a viable source of drinking water and limited options for alternative sources.

The deep “Potomac Groundwater Aquifer” (several hundred to more than 1000 feet below the ground surface) is the predominant source of drinking water in this region. However, it is being over-used and severely depleted. As a result, the Virginia Department of Environmental quality is in the process of significantly curtailing the amount of groundwater that localities and industries in the Eastern part of the state can withdraw. The Virginia legislature and state agencies have been aggressively exploring options and alternatives to groundwater as a source of drinking water.ezgif-67862217-1

Cranston’s Mill Pond can be a cost-effective local solution to a very serious problem facing our Commonwealth.

Cranston’s Mill Pond is uniquely situated. With its state-of-the-art dam and spillway, it captures significant amounts of clean fresh water from the relatively pristine surrounding watershed as well as several shallow groundwater aquifers (not the deep aquifer that is being depleted). More than 14 months of on-site data show, on average, more than 8 million gallons of water coming over the spillway every day. This proposal requests authorization from the state to use that water for municipal or industrial needs – thus alleviating some of the demand that is currently placed on deep groundwater sources.

We hope that you will explore the information provided here to better understand how the Cranston’s Mill Pond can benefit the citizens of Virginia.

Public Meeting Video

A public meeting was held by Cranston Mill Pond, LLC. on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM in the Kitzinger Community Room at the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, Virginia 23188. The purpose of the public meeting was to present information and seek public comment on a Joint Permit Application proposed for surface water withdrawal from Cranston’s Mill Pond pursuant to 9VAC25-210.

View Full Permit

As of 12/9/16, the permit application has officially been submitted to the state. Click below to view.


Cranston's Mill Pond
Vicinity Map

For a PDF version of map, please click below to download.

Map provided by ESRI
Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Land Trust
5735 S. Laburnum Ave.
Richmond, VA

Photo Gallery

Project Updates

We try to post updates on this project approximately monthly.

Permit Application Submitted

December 9, 2016

  As of today, the permit application has officially been submitted to the state for review. Click here to download & view full application.

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Community Meeting Video Recap

December 2, 2016

For those of you who were unable to attend the community meeting, we’ve recorded and posted a full video. Please click above to watch.

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Meeting Notes & Update

November 15, 2016

Thank You to those who attended last night’s public meeting in Toano. The Cranston’s Mill Pond team hopes that the information presented, and the discussion that followed, allowed you to better understand the project we are pursuing. As predicted during the presentation, the light rainfall received in the area yesterday (less than 0.1 inches) has…

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Cranston’s Mill Pond In the News

Frequently Asked Questions

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Cranston’s Mill Pond is uniquely situated in that the waters immediately downstream of the spillway are tidally influenced. As a result, during each tidal cycle 10s or 100s of millions of gallons of freshwater flush in and out of the Chickahominy River and Yarmouth Creek ecosystem. The water exiting Cranston’s Mill Pond – slightly greater than 8 million gallons each day on average – is minuscule in comparison to the tidal water influx. More importantly, during large storm events, a significant amount of water will still leave Cranston’s Mill Pond and travel downstream.

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If you have a question about the Cranston's Mill Pond, please submit it via the form in the FAQs section.
For general inquiries or for more information please email us.

Project Partners

This project is managed by Cranston Mill Pond, LLC, a joint venture between the Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Land Trust (CBNLT) and Restoration Systems.