Small Lake In Southwest Reno Contaminated By Algae Bloom

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A small lake in southwest Reno that's popular for recreation is contaminated by a blue-green algae bloom that promotes the growth of toxins, city officials said.

The city issued a warning Friday and put up signs telling people to avoid contact with the water in Virginia Lake and keep their pets away. Walking or bicycling around the area is safe, officials said.

Parks and Recreation director Jaime Schroeder attributed the algae bloom to an ongoing drought that's reduced the flow of a nearby river and led to high phosphorous levels. Schroeder said the toxins created by algae blooms can be hazardous to people, pets, fish and other animals when ingested.

Schroeder said the city can't bring in water to circulate through the lake because it doesn't control the flow of water from the Truckee River through a ditch that feeds the lake.

The lake is part of a community park that has barbecue grills, picnic tables, a playground and pathways for walking and biking. The warning against entering the water is in place indefinitely.