Advisory lifted for harmful algae in Lee Lake

Published 10:30 am Thursday, November 10, 2022

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There’s some good news from the Virginia Department of Health today, as the advisory for Lee Lake has been lifted. State officials had issued a warning earlier this year, due to harmful algae in the area. Lee, which is just outside of Blackstone in Nottoway County, raised concerns in the summer because of the level of algae.

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. And that was the concern with areas of Lee Lake. Residents were warned to avoid discolored water or places that had green or bluish-green algae, because those spots are more likely to contain toxins.

The Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force suspends response sampling at the end of October each year, when the recreational (swimming) season concludes and as temperatures begin cooling in natural waters. This enables conservation of response resources for peak swimming use.

To prevent illness from potentially toxic algae blooms:

• 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.

• Seek medical/veterinarian care if you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algal bloom.

• Properly clean fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs, and cooking fish to the proper temperature to ensure fish filets are safe to eat.

• Contact the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at 1-888-238-6154 if you suspect you experienced health-related effects following exposure to a bloom.