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Public urged to avoid portions of Lake Anna due to harmful algae bloom

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Posted at 12:04 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 12:06:28-04

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is urging the public to avoid portions of Lake Anna due to the presence of a harmful algae bloom (HAB).

The impacted areas include the Upper and Middle Pamunkey Branches as well as the Upper North Anna Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties.

Test results collected on August 13 at the sites contained potentially harmful algae (cyanobacteria) which exceed safe swimming levels. Cyanobacteria can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels,” said a VDH spokesperson. “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

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

Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm of the lake downstream to the Rt. 522 Bridge.

The areas to avoid can be seen on this interactive map.

To learn more about harmful algae blooms or to report an algae bloom, click here.