Yes, the lake provides drainage for a section of the South Norfolk neighborhood. A map of the area is attached, blue dotted lines and blue dots represent drainage pipes and structures. This drainage system is outlined in this map.
Not typically. During an unusually high tide some natural water could enter the lake from Scuffletown Creek/the Elizabeth River. This introduction of saltwater from the Elizabeth River was the primary cause of the appearance of dead fish and crabs in the lake on the weekend of Oct. 12, when higher-than-normal tidal activity paired with heavy rain caused the Elizabeth River to breach across Bainbridge Blvd. and flow into the lake, depositing saltwater wildlife. These fish and crabs are unsuited for survival in a freshwater lake like Lakeside Park's, and when paired with the lack of oxygen in the lake, experienced a fishkill noticed by neighborhood residents. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism cleaned the lake of the affected fish and crabs, and it should be noted that freshwater fish that live in the lake are unaffected by this incident, and are also unaffected by the City's herbicide treatments meant to decrease algae in the lake.
Yes, flow is to Scuffletown Creek, which is part of the Elizabeth River.
There have been three chemical treatments to control the algae so far this year, and another one is scheduled for Aug. 30. Given the extent of the algae problem, the City is pursuing some additional lake sampling to try to figure out the source of the excess nutrients and identify the type(s) of algae.
Komeen liquid herbicide and Cutrine Plus granular treatment herbicide.
Before 2019, the lake was last treated with an herbicide in 2017.
The lakes located within Chesapeake are actually stormwater treatment facilities. They collect stormwater runoff and pollutants from roads, parking lots, yards, driveways, rooftops, etc. The City inspects these facilities routinely. Problems with algae or other nuisance aquatic vegetation are managed on a case by case basis, utilizing a lake management contractor.
The City relies on residents to comply with the City Stormwater Management Ordinance and keep pollutants out of the storm drainage system by taking actions such as: managing fertilizer properly and not over-fertilizing; picking up pet waste; keeping grass clippings and yard debris out of the storm drains; not feeding geese or other wildlife, and keeping all pollutants away from ditches and storm drains.
Algae grows and thrives when the conditions are favorable, which is typically when there are excess nutrients in the lake, the water temperature is elevated (summer months), the lake is shallow and sunlight is able to penetrate to the bottom (algae needs sunlight to grow), and there is very little movement in the water.
The City has recently taken a more proactive approach to controlling algae and other nuisance aquatic vegetation and has developed a Lake Management Program specifically to address nuisance aquatic vegetation which may clog or negatively impact the City’s stormwater collection and drainage system.
No. There are many species of algae, most of them are not harmful. At this time, the City does not believe that the algae at Lakeside Park is harmful.
Yes, for potential nutrient sources and identification of the algae species. This will help determine if additional or different types of treatment are warranted.
We cannot provide a definitive answer at this time, but what we’ve seen is not consistent with the toxic blue-green algae that has been reported in the news recently. What we know at this time is that the lake contains duckweed and a filamentous type algae.
The fountain is getting clogged with algae. Fountains are generally decorative features and do not circulate or aerate the large volumes of water necessary to significantly impact water quality, nor eliminate or prevent algae.
The City will evaluate measures such as additional solar aerators or bubblers to improve water quality. However, the first step is to reduce or eliminate the heavy nutrient flow into the lake that is contributing to the excessive algae and aquatic plant growth.
Dead and decaying algae will produce an unpleasant odor. There was also a recent Hampton Roads Sanitation District sanitary sewer spill on the west side of Bainbridge Blvd. that may have contributed to odor issues. The spill was cleaned up.
As of Oct. 15, the lake has experienced a significant decrease in the amount of algae present. This comes mostly as a result of continued treatment in the lake, and should continue to improve into the fall and winter. The City will continuously evaluate and treat the lake as needed as temperatures begin warming in the spring.
Based on the success (or not) or nutrient source reduction and chemical treatment, the City may consider other measures such as a lake drawdown to dewater the lake, dry out the bottom and interrupt the growth of bottom-rooted aquatic vegetation. Dredging to increase lake depth and volume is a long-term possibility, but requires additional engineering study and significant funding to implement.
Given that the stormwater management facilities (i.e., lakes and ponds) around the City mostly accept drainage from private property, the City has little to no control over nutrient levels which lead to algae growth. It blooms very quickly when the conditions are favorable and it is difficult to eliminate. Most of it is not harmful and will resolve on its own, although it doesn’t look attractive.
Treatment with herbicides must be completed in stages so that there is no harm to fish or other aquatic animals in the process by over-treating with herbicides. The stormwater lakes and ponds around the City are not intended for recreational use, and the City recommends that residents avoid primary contact with the water, particularly when there is algae growth.