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Chris Greene Lake Park reopens for water recreation

albemarle countyAs of 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 4, Chris Greene Lake Park is reopened to all water recreation. Access to the boat ramp and dog park has been restored.

Water samples collected from Chris Greene Lake Park on Monday, October 1, have been tested by two laboratories for algae and cyanobacteria. Algae levels were found to be well below thresholds established by the Virginia Department of Health for recreation and no cyanobacteria were present.

Based on these results, the Virginia Department of Health advised there is no evidence which suggests Chris Greene Lake is or has experienced a harmful algal bloom over the last week.

On Monday, October 1, Albemarle County restricted water access at Chris Greene Lake Park in response to a report from a resident that a dog that had swum in the lake become ill and passed away. While no tests linked the illness to the lake, out of an abundance of caution, Parks & Recreation decided to limit public contact until new water quality tests could be performed.

Chris Greene Lake is regularly tested for water quality twice per month. The most recent routine test had been completed on September 27 and indicated the water was safe for recreation. The tests ordered on October 1 showed similar results, indicating the water remained safe for recreation.

Albemarle County is committed to water quality and preserving our recreational amenities. Both 2017 and 2018 had a harmful algal bloom event that caused a closure of Chris Greene Lake. Nutrients are believed to be the cause of the algal blooms. Following those closures, staff in Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services have worked together to initiate a project to identify possible sources of nutrients throughout the Chris Greene Lake watershed.

Over the past several months, staff and regional partners have begun to collect and analyze data on nutrients entering the lake, considered possible sources, and engaged property owners on best management practices.  The hope is to keep the lake healthy by addressing the root cause of the blooms.

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