Harmful algae bloom at Chris Greene Lake

An algae bloom at Chris Greene Lake Park has caused Albemarle County to post an advisory closing the waterway to people and their dogs. According to a release, there have been no reported health problems but routine tests showed the presence of harmful algae. 

“People and pets are prohibited from contact with the water until further notice,” reads the release. “Mint Springs and Walnut Creek Lakes are not affected.” 

Other features of the Chris Greene Lake Park are still open such as the dog park and walking trails. The lake experienced an algae bloom in June of 2018 following heavy rains. Albemarle hired the firm SOLItude Lake Management to study the chemistry of the lake and they concluded the source of the algae from three years was likely the result of an accumulation of organic material on the bottom of the lake. 

“When levels of oxygen in the water drop during the heat of the summer, that large accumulation of lake muck releases a significant amount of phosphorus (i.e., plant food) into the water – ripe conditions for algae blooms,” reads an April report from the Facilities and Environmental Services office

The lake remains closed to dogs and people through at least Monday, when a new test will be conducted. 

“We need two tests with levels below the threshold in order to resume normal operations,”  said Emily Kilroy, Albemarle’s Director of Communications and Public Engagement. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the October 9, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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