Smith Mountain Lake Association announces harmful algal bloom resource center

A Harmful Algal Bloom Swimming Advisory was issued on June 6 for parts of the lake

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – The Smith Mountain Lake Association is offering a new resource to keep visitors informed on the harmful algal bloom affecting parts of the lake.

This comes after the Virginia Department of Health issued a Harmful Algal Bloom Swimming Advisory on June 6 for the entire Blackwater arm of Smith Mountain Lake.

VDH advises that swimming on the Blackwater arm could expose both people and pets to a potentially harmful algal bloom.

The new resource center features questions and answers, links to VDH and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality websites, actions residents can take to protect the water, and news reports.

The website is kept up-to-date with information received from VDH, DEQ, and the SML Water Quality Program.

According to the new resource center website, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality began sampling the water on June 13, to determine when the swimming advisory can be lifted.

“VDH guidance states that two sampling events, at least 10 days apart, must show levels of cyanobacteria and toxins below advisory levels before the Swimming Advisory can be lifted. Six locations, five in the Blackwater and one in Gills Creek will be tested for cyanobacteria levels and toxins in addition to the regularly scheduled sampling DEQ conducts monthly on the lake. A return to the initial three locations that were the basis for the Swimming Advisory may occur if resources allow, according to VDH and DEQ. Results of the June 13 sampling event should be available by the end of the week,” the website reads.

For more information, visit the resource center online here.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.