MAYVILLE – With the arrival of warm weather, Chautauqua County Health officials are putting the public on notice regarding blue-green algae blooms on area lakes.
On Tuesday, The Public Health Division of the County Department of Health & Human Services sent out a media release, urging all residents to be cautious when using area lakes, especially if algae is present. Blue-green algae blooms can be a problem because they can release a toxin, which at high levels is harmful to human and animal health if ingested.
County Health director Christine Schuyler says that the real threat to public health is when people or pets drink or otherwise ingest water directly from a lake where a bloom is occurring.
Health officials have developed a response plan to help protect the public from the effects caused by blue-green algal blooms. This includes monitoring public beaches and public drinking water supplies, along with collecting a limited number of samples from our lakes.
Officials say there are no mechanical or chemical methods to eliminate a bloom. The problem can only be solved by reducing nutrients washing into the lake from the watershed, which act as fertilizer for both algae and weeds.
For more information about blue-green algae, visit myhealthycounty.com. The web site also contains information about bathing beach closures for public beaches in Chautauqua County.