HAZMAT incident in the Lands End subdivision
By Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteers
June 1, 2023

On June 1st at 17:21hrs we were dispatched for a HAZMAT incident in the Lands End subdivision. The call resulted in VDEM and VDEQ being notified who determined this was an algae bloom.

Since then, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has collected samples and issues a “no swim” advisory for the entire Blackwater River and its tributaries including Gills Creek. It is especially important that you do not allow your dogs to swim in the Blackwater River.

What you need to know:
• Swimming in the Blackwater River and its tributaries is highly discouraged.
• Dogs are especially susceptible to becoming sick since they get water in their mouths while swimming and lick themselves clean after they get out.
• Boating and fishing are still allowed.
• It is Ok to consuming fish caught in the Blackwater. Make sure you don’t consume the skin and clean the fish well.
• Algae blooms typically clear on their own.
• VDH will conduct more sampling in 10 days and adjust it’s advisory as appropriate.

This is no joke. Until the toxin levels are determined you should avoid swimming in the Blackwater. You can get very sick from these algae blooms. Please be careful out there.

Hyperlinks: For more information about the swimming advisory, visit VDH
To report an algae bloom