Here’s Why Lake Audubon is Looking Green

Lake Audubon on Wednesday

Lake Audubon is looking a little green.

A Reston Now reader asked about the lake condition, so we inquired with Reston Association’s Senior Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources, and Nikki Bellazza, RA’s Watershed Manager.

The green is blue-green algae, says Butler.

“It will disappear once  two things happen, which may or may not be simultaneous — when the water temps cool or their nutrient source (recently buffeted by the rain) runs out,” said Butler.

Bellazza said samples have been taken.

Blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) are single-celled organisms that naturally exist in fresh or salt waters. They use sunlight to make their food. When there are a lot of nutrients available in the water, the bacteria can grow rapidly or “bloom” to form a visible film or scum on the surface of the water, says this information page from the Virginia Department of Health.

The algae can cause illness if ingested.

The issue is not from the summer sewage pipe break, which leaked briefly leaked sewage into Lake Audubon and kept people off the lake, officials said. It is also not the same flotsam that has recently been identified at Lake Newport.

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