May 30, 2017
Batavia, Ohio – As you head out to your favorite lake or river this summer, be on the lookout for water that looks green. Harmful algae blooms have become more common in ponds and lakes throughout Ohio over the last few summers. The blooms are caused by a type of blue-green algae that can produce toxins.
When an algae bloom is present, the water can:
“With these algae blooms happening more frequently, we want people to be proactive, and know what to look for, and when to stay out of the water,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit.
Exposure to the toxins caused by the algae can result in rashes or hives, allergic reactions, asthma-like symptoms or abdominal pain. In severe cases, it can cause abnormal liver or kidney function.
Pets can have similar symptoms if exposed. If you or your pet feel sick after coming in contact with a harmful algae bloom, contact your physician veterinarian.
The algae blooms are caused by higher levels of nutrients in the water. Those nutrients can come from excess fertilizer being washed into nearby rivers and streams, or from animal and human waste.
Above average spring rainfall, combined with higher than normal summer temperatures have contributed to the increase in algae blooms, over the last few years. A harmful algae bloom was present at Harsha Lake in East Fork State Park in 2016. In August 2015, an algae bloom was discovered on the Ohio River in Clermont County.
To report a visible algae bloom in a body of water, or for more information, visit the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.ohioalgaeinfo.com
To see if there are any advisories on public waters before you swim, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website at http://publicapps.odh.ohio.gov/BeachGuardPublic/Default.aspx.