Lake James Watershed

​​​​​This webpage was established at the request of the Lake James community to provide a resource for citizens to obtain information about the City’s plans.

The Lake James watershed map can be found by selecting the following map link: Lake James Watershed Map.


In March 2017, a harmful algal bloom was discovered at Lake James. The Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS) Task Force was notified of the algal bloom, and they performed water quality testing of Lake James on March 2, 2017. The City of Virginia Beach has been working with the local VDH and Department of Environmental Quality offices to address the water quality issues​ related to the algal bloom in the lake. A summary of the VDH water quality testing results for Lake James during and after the algal bloom event can be found by selecting the Lake Jam​es location at the following map link:   VDH Algal Bloom Map

The City’s contractor performed an algaecide treatment on the lake on April 4, 2017. Algaecide treatments are effective at treating algal blooms, but they do not address the long term issues that lead to future algal blooms. The underlying source, which is primarily nutrient inflows, must be identified for effective long-term treatment.


The City is initiating a water quality monitoring project for Lake James that will begin May 19, 2017. This project includes five sampling field visits at nine different locations within the Lake James watershed. A monitoring location map with the pr​oposed monitoring locations in the Lake James watershed is available at the following link: Lake James Monitoring Map. The project ​is expected to take 10 months to complete the monitoring and analysis. A summary report is planned to be completed by March 2018. By testing multiple locations in the Lake James watershed, the City can determine the locations of the highest concentrations of nutrient loading to Lake James. Additional options for treatment or nutrient mitigation in the future can be evaluated once the primary sources have been identified.


The City received several questions from both the Lakes James Homeowners Association as well as Lake James area citizens at the April 6, 2017, Kempsville/Centerville Town Hall meeting. The responses  ​​will be used in the development of a set of frequently asked questions.

Responses to both sets of questions are provided below:

• Lake James Homeowners Association questions and answers from March 15, 2017, are located at the following link: LJHA Q&A.
• Town Hall questions and answers from April 6, 2017, are located at the following link: Town Hall Q&A.


• Select algal blooms for more information on algal blooms and ways to report algal blooms to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
• Select the cyanobacteria link for further information on blue-green algae and VDH recommendations for areas with high concentrations of blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae produce the type of algal blooms that occurred in March 2017 at Lake James.
• Select animal safety fact sheet for information from the CDC on bes​t practices for your pets in water bodies that are experiencing algal blooms
​​​​​• Select​ ​Lake Jam​es​ Fact Sheet for a summary of the Lake James monitoring study as well as information on algal blooms and homeowner best practices​

Protect our waterways. Report stormwater pollution by calling (757) 385-1470.

Contact Information