Residents Urged to Avoid Contact with Lake Audubon and Lake Thoreau

by Fatimah Waseem September 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm 6 Comments

A harmful algae bloom spotted on Lake Audubon a little over a week ago remains on the lake. The bloom, called Microcystis, was can produce toxins that are lethal for livestock, fish, and people. Some toxins have been linked to liver cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Microcystis is a common form of algae that is “almost always toxic.” It resembles a green, thick, paint-like material and tends to gather along shores.

As the algae bloom continues, Reston Association is advising all residents to avoid contact with the water. Pets should not swim in or drink from the water.

In a statement, RA said consultants have indicated a drop in the temperature of the water will help get rid of the bloom.

Also, purple and green clumps floating on the surface of Lake Thoreau were identified as Plankothrix algae, which can also produce toxins. Residents should also avoid contact with that water.

Thus far, no toxicity tests have been conducted by RA.

Photo by Reston Association

  • Mike M

    Seems the more RA tries to “manage” Mother Nature, the more they fail. Good thing they always seem to have more money to throw into their bad habits.

  • OneReally

    A drive in the Shenandoah and solar power should fix this issue.

    Also, better throw in screaming at Statues.

    I’m sure the real issue is President Trump’s.

    • KennyP

      Looks like a machine gun to me!

  • Arielle in NoVA

    I hope this figured into the recent “state of the Reston environment” discussion.

  • Dr Weil

    Nothing wrong with this algae, they eat it in California all the time. From what I gather it just needs to be dried, best way to put it in the oven after lightly seasoning it, then bake it to a nice crisp – tasty to the crunch.

    Drink with plenty of beer, two liver cancer causing negatives make a plus!

  • ChrisReston

    This week I took a sample at elbow depth, from near the middle of Lake Audubon, and sent it to the GreenWater Lab testing facility in Palatka, Florida. No toxin was detectable in their ELISA test, down to the test limit of 0.15 parts per billion (ppb or μg/L).

    For comparison, EPA recommends drinking water advisories for adults and school age children at 1.6 ppb. For swimming, California has levels of Caution at 0.8, Warning at 6, and Danger at 20.

    Please follow up here if you’d like a copy of the report.

    Interesting fact: this type of life is pretty much the whole ballgame. The green you see in plants, and their photosynthesis, is actually captive cyanobacteria (choloroplasts).


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