Water quality tests through Smith Mountain Lake Association’s water quality monitoring program with Ferrum College on June 16 showed high levels of E.coli bacteria at two locations, according to a news release by SMLA.
E.coli bacteria, exceeding Virginia Department of Health’s recommended maximum level for recreational water, were found at the headwaters of the Roanoke River near Bay Rock Marina and at the end of the cove near Crystal Shores Marina. The high levels were not unexpected due to the recent heavy rains, the release said.
Swimming is not recommended at this time in the area of Bay Rock Marina or near the end of the cove near Crystal Shores Marina. During periods of heavy rain, there can be considerable runoff into the lake from the watershed area, which contains both livestock and farming. Materials from these environments tend to include bacteria and/or promote growth of bacteria and/or algae.
All other locations tested were better than the VDH standard, the release said.
The next sampling will take place on June 30.
VDH advises not to swim around ducks or other water fowl or after a heavy rain. Swimmers also should avoid getting water in their mouths or noses and should not swim with open wounds or sores.