FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 18, 2019
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@VDH.virginia.gov
Harmful Algae Bloom Advisories Remain Unchanged – Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa & Spotsylvania Counties
HAB Task Force Sampling to Resume in May 2020
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake
(Richmond, Va.) – The swimming advisory for Lake Anna State Park Beach based on the prior three sample events on September 10, 17 and October 8 have remained below safe swimming levels for cyanobacteria and toxins. The Upper to Middle portion of Pamunkey Branch, the North Anna Branch as well as the Main Branch of Lake Anna from the “Splits” to the confluence of Pigeon Run above Route 208 in Orange, all remain under advisory. Louisa and Spotsylvania counties continue to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB).
The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas. 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 during the swimming season from May through October, above Route 208 on Lake Anna. Test results indicate samples collected October 8 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 have been posted in areas of the lake.
The HAB Task Force Response for swimming areas has ended for the 2019 season. Response sampling will resume in May 2020.
Swimming advisories will remain in place for these areas of the lake:
Pamunkey Branch (no changes from prior advisory)
- 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
North Anna Branch (no changes from prior advisory)
- Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm of the lake downstream to the Rt. 522 Bridge
- Middle – From the Rt. 522 Bridge downstream to the Lumsden Flats/Rose Valley Cove
- Lower from the Lumsden Flats/Rose Valley cove downstream to just before the confluence with Pamunkey Branch (at the “Splits”)
Lake Anna (Main Branch, no changes from prior advisory)
- Upper from the confluence with the North Anna Branch and 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 current results suggest the bloom may continue for as long as environmental conditions remain favorable. To ensure the Task Force can support response in early spring and summer 2020, sampling for swimming use has been suspended to conserve resources.
For information on the Waste Heat Treatment Facility (warm side) of Lake Anna, visit: https://www.dominionenergy.com/company/making-energy/nuclear/north-anna-power-station/waste-heat-treatment-facility
*Advisory Report with Map link: www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/12/2019/09/HAB-Report-20191018.pdf