Countywide

Staff shortages force partial closure of Reston’s Water Mine

A lifeguard at The Water Mine in Reston (via Fairfax County Park Authority/YouTube)

While school doesn’t officially start until Aug. 22, The Water Mine at Lake Fairfax will wind its summer operations down a week early this year, beginning Monday (Aug. 18).

The Fairfax County Park Authority is temporarily closing the popular Water Mine Family Swimming’ Hole due to lifeguard and other operational staff shortages at the location. The closure will last from Aug. 15-20.

After that, for the last three weeks of summer, tthe park will only be open on weekends, with Sunday on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4) as its final day of the year.

The issue is part an industry-wide labor shortage faced by FCPA and other county agencies. The park authority typically recruits more than 600 summertime hires to staff summer camps, pools, and other park sites.

The decision was made due to safety concerns.

“We understand this decision is disappointing. However, it’s safety, safety, safety first,” FCPA Park Services Division Director Cindy Walsh said.

Walsh said many lifeguards are going back to school earlier or going on vacation, leaving the Water Mine with fewer guards than it has had in previous years.

The Water Mine is located at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive in Reston. It typically operates from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Earlier this summer, the American Lifeguard Association estimated that staffing shortages would affect a third of the pools in the country. Reston Association closed two pools for multiple days last month.

Screenshot via Fairfax County Park Authority/YouTube