​​​​​Lake James Watershed

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MARCH 2017 ALGAL BLOOM

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 completed the water quality monitoring efforts for the Lake James watershed to identify the highest concentrations of nutrient loading sources to Lake James. This project included five sampling field visits at nine different locations within the Lake James watershed. A monitoring location map with the proposed monitoring locations in the Lake James watershed is available at the following link: Lake James Monitoring Map​. The water quality monitoring report was completed in April 2018. 

The City is currently evaluating the sources of the nutrients identified in the report to determine potential options for reducing and managing the nutrients in the Lake James watershed.  


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.

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