Blue-Green Algae Keeps Local Beach Closed

Lakewood Village Beach remainsclosed as county health officials wait to retrieve water sample tests from the state. Blue-green algae was confirmed in the area earlier in the week. P-J photo by Jimmy McCarthy

LAKEWOOD — Issues of blue-green algae are popping up at the southern basin of Chautauqua Lake.

Lake and county health officials say patches of blue-green algae have shown up in areas of the southern basin near shorelines in Lakewood, Fluvanna, Long Point State Park and the Bemus Point area. Conditions have been ripe for blue-green algae due to the sun and heat.

County Environmental Health officials shut down Lakewood Village Beach beginning Tuesday due to a confirmed case of blue-green algae. Mark Stow, county environmental health director, said the beach will remain closed once they get water sample test results from state.

“The state requires us to take samples and send them into the laboratory to confirm that the toxins have lowered in level,” he said. “It’ll likely be Monday before we can determine whether we can open it back up.”

According to the state Health Department, blue-green algae are microscopic organisms that can form dense blooms in surface waters. Health officials urge people to avoid blooms as they can cause irritations. People should also keep their pets away from blooms as it could be deadly if ingested.

“People need to be careful where they swim,” said Doug Conroe, executive director for the Chautauqua Lake Association.

Conroe said the north basin of Chautauqua Lake remains clear, but a number of spotty locations are popping up in the southern basin.

“In general, the lake is usable,” he said.


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