FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 30, 2019
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@VDH.virginia.gov, 703-530-2627
Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Pamunkey and North Anna Branches, Lake Anna State Park Beach, and Lake Anna Main Branch from the “Splits” to Pigeon Run above Route 208 – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake
(Richmond, Va.) – All portions of Pamunkey Branch, the North Anna Branch, the Lake Anna State Park Beach, as well as the Main Branch of Lake Anna from the “Splits” to the confluence of Pigeon Run above Route 208 in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com.
Routine monitoring occurs monthly above Route 208 on Lake Anna. Test results indicate samples collected August 27th at sites within these areas contained potentially harmful algae (cyanobacteria) which exceed safe swimming levels. People and pets are advised to avoid swimming, windsurfing and stand-up-paddle-boarding as well as other activities which pose a risk of ingesting water or exposure to skin. Advisory signs will be posted in areas of the lake.
Swimming advisories have been issued for the following areas of the lake.
Pamunkey Branch (CONTAINS CHANGES FROM PRIOR ADVISORY, “Lower” added)
- Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the Pamunkey arm of the lake downstream to the confluence with Terry’s Run
- Middle – From the confluence of Terry’s Run with Pamunkey Creek downstream to Rt. 612 (Stubbs Bridge)
- Terrys Run – from the upper inundated waters of the lake downstream to the confluence with Pamunkey Creek
- NEW – Lower from the Rt 612 (Stubbs Bridge) downstream to near the confluence with North Anna (at the “Splits”)
North Anna Branch (CONTAINS CHANGES FROM PRIOR ADVISORY; “Middle” and “Lower” added)
- Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm of the lake downstream to the Rt. 522 Bridge
- NEW -Middle – From the Rt. 522 Bridge downstream to the Lumsden Flats/Rose Valley Cove
- NEW – Lower from the Lumsden Flats/Rose Valley cove downstream to just before the confluence with Pamunkey Branch (at the “Splits”)
Lake Anna (Main Branch) – NEW ADVISORY ISSUED
- NEW – Upper from the confluence with the North Anna Branch & Pamunkey Branch (at the “Splits”) downstream to above the confluence with Pigeon Run (tributary along State Park)
Algae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless; however, some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or blueish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.
To prevent illness, people should:
- Avoid contact with any area of the lake where water is green or an advisory sign is posted,
WHEN IN DOUBT, STAY OUT!
- Do not allow children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water.
- Keep children and pets out of the areas experiencing a harmful algae bloom and quickly wash them off with plenty of fresh, clean water after coming into contact with algae scum or bloom water.
- If you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algal bloom, seek medical/veterinarian care.
- To ensure fish fillets are safe to eat, properly clean fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs, and cooking fish to the proper temperature.
- If you suspect you experienced health-related effects following exposure to a bloom, contact the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at 1-888-238-6154.
- To learn more about harmful algae blooms or to report an algae bloom or fish kill visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com.
The Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force, which includes the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Old Dominion Phytoplankton lab, monitor water quality in the lake. In general, advisories may be lifted following two consecutive test results with acceptable levels for algal cell counts and/or toxin concentration. An advisory may be lifted or maintained at the discretion of the health department. For example, after one test an advisory may be lifted if results are below safe levels for swimming, if other information indicates exposure or human health risk is low.
*Advisory Report with Map link: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/12/2019/08/HAB-Report-20190830.pdf