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Slimy, smelly algae taking over Fountain Lake at Byrd Park

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 00:00:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Byrd Park consists of three lakes: Swan, Shields and Fountain.

The last which is used for paddle boats. But visitors may reconsider heading out in the water and may avoid Fountain Lake altogether now that a large portion of it looks like a green mat.

"This is the worse that I've seen," said Andrea Owen, who was walking her mixed hound through the area.

"The algae is really, really bad. And then you've got the trash problem," added Jim Bickerstaff.

Algae

If you go for a walk at Byrd Park, the normal scenic view around Fountain Lake is overshadowed by an unflattering layer of algae.

This begs the question as Bickerstaff posed, "why would anybody want to come and enjoy the lake and ride a paddle boat when there's nothing but nasty smelling algae?"

Bickerstaff said he first noticed the algae about a month ago which has grown to cover almost half the lake.

But he's not the only one who has noticed a difference.

“It's gotten progressive worse. Like noticeable worse week by week," said Owen.

"I drive across the bridge every day during the week and it just gets bigger and bigger and it's just a nasty eyesore." added Bickerstaff.

Algae

CBS 6 reached out to the city of Richmond's Department of Public Works and they responded with an email that reads in part:

“We have a contractor who is working on controlling the algae and vegetation. He has been onsite daily for the past four weeks. Due to the hot temperatures, the shallowness of Fountain Lake and the geese droppings, he is limited in what he can introduce into the water.”

Visitors don't see a difference.

Owen

"It definitely doesn't look like that at all! It doesn't look like anyone is taking care of that," said Owen.

"If the city says they're doing stuff it's not visible," added Bickerstaff.

The city also added that they are doing all that is feasible at this time and the paddle boats will still be available for rent.