Lake Monticello’s Tufton Pond is off-limits to pets and swimmers due to harmful blue-green algae discovered in the water, according to a press release by the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the algae can cause vomiting, skin rash, diarrhea, cramps and in some cases can affect the nervous system.

The owners’ association has posted signage at the pond to warn visitors and says it’s best to avoid contact with the water altogether.

“The LMOA Maintenance Team has been monitoring some signs of blue-green algae in Tufton Pond,” according to the press release. “To date there has been no observations of blue-green algae in the main Lake.” 

The pond was treated last week and according to the LMOA General Manager, both the pond and main lake will be monitored going forward.

Tufton Pond is not the first body of water in the region to be affected by the potential harmful algae. It’s also been found in Lake Anna and the Rivanna River. Last week, Mint Springs Park in Crozet was shut down for the duration of the summer after the algae was discovered there.

When in doubt, it’s always good to stay away from water that is foamy, thick like paint, green or reddish brown in color. According to the signage posted by the owners’ association, fish caught for consumption should be discarded of skin and guts, thoroughly cleaned by tap or bottled water and cooked to the proper temperature.     

In case humans or pets do get in contact with the water, affected areas should be cleaned with plenty of fresh, clean water.

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