Swimmers asked to avoid parts of Smith Mountain Lake due to high bacteria levels after heavy rain

Experts will collect more water samples on June 7

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – Swimmers are urged to avoid five small areas of Smith Mountain Lake due to high levels of bacteria after heavy rain.

While officials say most of the lake is safe for swimming, water samples that were collected on May 24 revealed that there were high levels of E.coli bacteria in five locations around the lake.

A swimming advisory has been issued for the following areas:

  • Head of Becky’s Creek near Bayside Marina and Yacht Club
  • Fairway Bay, Roanoke Channel, downstream of Becky’s Creek
  • Forest Cove, opposite Smith Mountain Dam
  • Palmer’s Trailer Park Cove in Little Bull Run
  • Near Ponderosa Campground in Upper Blackwater River

The bacterial samples were collected after heavy rain, which is when bacterial levels are usually high at the lake, according to experts.

Plus, lawn fertilizer can runoff into the lake, resulting in the growth of algae and bacteria.

Here’s a map of areas mentioned above to help you find the bodies of water you should avoid:

Virginia Department of Health wants swimmers to remember that they should not swim after heavy rains, should avoid areas around waterfowl and should not swallow lake water or get it in their eyes.

Experts will collect more water samples on June 7.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.