Little Creek Dam Project

Little Creek Reservoir and Dam, located in James City County, are owned and operated by the City of Newport News. Little Creek Reservoir is a crucial water supply reservoir for the Newport News Waterworks (Waterworks) system. Little Creek Dam, originally constructed in 1980, is a nearly 70-foot high earthen impoundment structure that creates the reservoir. Instances of progressive seepage and erosion occurred at Little Creek Dam between 2016 and 2020. In 2020, Waterworks completed a planned and controlled drawdown of Little Creek Reservoir to facilitate dam maintenance and minimize the progression of seepage and erosion issues. The drawdown is a necessary precautionary measure.

Waterworks has partnered with an engineering firm who specializes in dam safety, Stantec Consulting Services Inc., to design a dam improvements project at Little Creek Dam. The goal of the Little Creek Dam Improvements Project is to remediate seepage and erosion issues, make general improvements to the dam, and return Little Creek Reservoir to the normal operating level. The project is anticipated to be a multi-year effort. Waterworks will continue to monitor the dam and maintain the drawdown of the reservoir until the dam rehabilitation is complete.

Inquiries about Little Creek Reservoir and Dam can be directed to Waterworks Public Education Coordinator Cyndi Masterstaff at


11/4/22 Additional Reservoir Drawdown – In recent months, Waterworks has needed to draw more water from Little Creek Reservoir than in a typical year due to high seasonal water demands and below normal rainfall.  Based on current weather patterns and demand trends, Waterworks expects to continue pumping from Little Creek Reservoir into the fall.  As a result, the reservoir level may drop an extra two to three feet throughout the fall before we are able to begin filling the reservoir back to the previous drawdown level, which we anticipate occurring during the winter months.

4/12/22 Council Meeting approved: Waterworks ($1,850,000) - These Water Revenue Bond funds are for engineering and environmental mitigation services for the Little Creek Reservoir Dam Improvements Project, which is an identified Waterworks project in the CIP. The project includes remediation of dam safety issues and general improvements to the dam, which is located in James City County. Design work and wetlands mitigation for the project are estimated to be $1,850,000 of the total $14,600,000 project cost.