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Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Advisory in Effect for Blackwater River Portion of Smith Mountain Lake
A Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) advisory is in effect for the Blackwater River portion of Smith Mountain Lake in Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania Counties. This means that you should avoid contact with the water in this part of the lake until the algae levels are lowered to an acceptable level.
The algal blooms create algal scum and a blue/green discoloration in the water. Do not go in the water if you see water with the algal bloom. Some algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rashes and gastrointestinal illness (diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting) if you come into contact with it.
You can boat in areas with a harmful algal bloom, but you and your pets should avoid swimming, windsurfing, stand-up-paddle-boarding, or other activities where you could possibly end up drinking in water with the algal bloom. If you come into contact with a harmful algal bloom, wash yourself off with clean water and call your doctor if you start to feel sick.
The advisory is in place until harmful algal bloom levels go down to a safe level. To learn more information about staying safe from algal blooms and to see a map with the exact parts of Smith Mountain Lake under advisory, check out the Status Report.