OWASA Announces Updates and Additional Opportunities for 2021 Recreation Season

Orange Water and Sewer Authority is excited to announce updates to the 2021 lake recreation guidance to allow additional visitors and additional opportunities for visiting Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake.

OWASA will be increasing the number of visitors allowed at both Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake. OWASA will also be adding an option to allow visitors to arrive at the reservoir between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for picnicking or other shore activities.

These changes will go into place effective April 26, 2021.

The reservation system that is currently in place will still be used to promote a safe experience for all OWASA staff and recreational visitors. Permit applications will be available Monday and Tuesday each week on the Recreation page of the OWASA website. OWASA will notify applicants of their permit status each Wednesday by email.

OWASA will continue to assess options, including the possibility of renting equipment later this season, as conditions change.

You can find more information about each of the three types of permits and general visitor guidelines below. We thank you for following OWASA’s guidelines aimed at protecting water quality and the health of OWASA staff and visitors to our reservoirs. OWASA reserves the right to alter these policies as new information is available regarding the spread of COVID-19.

Boating:

A boating permit will allow for the individual receiving the permit and one guest to visit the selected reservoir; the visitor can either be in the permit-holder’s boat or bring their own boat. Boaters must supply all of their own equipment, and OWASA staff will continue to inspect equipment before allowing it to be used on the lakes.

If you receive a boating permit, the gates will only be open for your arrival between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. No other entries will be permitted – even if you were granted a reservation. You may stay at the reservoir under this permit until closing.

Bank fishing:

A bank fishing permit will allow only for the individual named on the permit to visit the selected reservoir. If you receive a bank fishing permit, the gates will only be open for your arrival between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. No other entries will be permitted – even if you were granted a reservation. You may stay at the reservoir under this permit until closing.

Picnic/Lawn Use:

A picnic/lawn use permit is a new option for visitors as of April 26, 2021. A picnic/lawn use permit will allow the applicant to bring guests to use the recreational space around each reservoir. If you receive a picnic/lawn use permit, the gates will only be open for your arrival between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. No other entries will be permitted – even if you were granted a reservation. You may stay at the reservoir under this permit until closing.

General:

OWASA will not be renting equipment (i.e. boats, motors, PFDs, etc.) to visitors at this time.

In addition to our existing rules and regulations concerning use of our facilities, all visitors will be required to follow COVID-19-specific guidance posted at each reservoir and the directions of OWASA staff. The recreational offices will remain closed to the public. Restroom facilities will be open to the public. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up at various locations at each reservoir.

Social distancing guidelines will be enforced in locations as needed throughout each site, including but not limited to boat launch locations and fishing from either piers or banks. State and local guidelines still require the wearing of face coverings in instances when social distancing cannot be maintained.