FREDERICKSBURG — Another summer season and more harmful algae blooms at Lake Anna.
The Virginia Department of Health issued the algae notice this week, stating that the blooms were detected in the Upper Pamunkey branch of the lake in Orange and Spotsylvania counties.
The new advisory marks the fourth-straight year with harmful algae blooms in the 1,300-acre manmade lake, which cools the Dominion Virginia Energy North Anna nuclear power plant and is surrounded by hundreds of homes.
The department advised people to avoid contact with the lake in the area of the bloom until it returns to acceptable levels, warning swimmers to “avoid discolored water or scums that are green or blueish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.”
The harmful algae is a cyanobacteria that can cause skin rashes and stomach illnesses.
The algae was discovered from June 23 samples in the Upper Pamunkey branch above the confluence of Terry’s Run, and it “indicated swimming advisories were necessary due to the unsafe levels of cyanobacteria concentrations,” according to the health department, which said people and pets should avoid the affected areas.
Cyanotoxins also were detected, but were “well below levels which would pose a health risk,” the department said.
A map of the affected area was posted on the health department’s website: vdh.virginia.gov/waterborne-hazards-control/algal-bloom-surveillance-map.
More testing at the lake is planned for Thursday.