August 8, 2019
Media Contacts: Kathryn Goodman, TJHD Public Information Officer (434) 270-4802 or Madeline Currot, Albemarle County Public Information Officer (434) 531-5387
Public advised to avoid water contact at Mint Springs Lake.
(Charlottesville, Va.) – Mint Springs Lake in Albemarle County is experiencing a harmful algae bloom. The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake water 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.
Most algae species are harmless however some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Algae blooms occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth such as has occurred recently with the significantly warmer temperatures and lack of
Albemarle Co. Parks and Recreation and the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force, which includes the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and phytoplankton laboratories will continue to monitor water quality in the lake on a weekly basis. Water access will reopen following a minimum of two consecutive weeks of acceptable levels for algal cell counts and toxin concentration. For more information on blue-green algae health risks, how to avoid exposure, what to do if exposed, or to review weekly algae sampling results, visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com.
To prevent illness, people should:
- Avoid contact with any area of the pond where water is green or an advisory sign is posted.
- Do not allow children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water.
- Keep children and pets out of the HAB water and quickly wash them off with fresh water after coming into contact with algae.
- If you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algal bloom, seek medical/veterinarian care.
- 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 HABs or to report an algae bloom or fish kill visit: www.SwimHealthyVA.com
# # #