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Health Department Warns of Suspicious Algal Blooms in Water

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Health Department Warns of Suspicious Algal Blooms in Water

Monday, July 24, 2017

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reported suspicious blue-green algae blooms, also known as HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms), in Cayuga Lake and is currently monitoring. These blooms may be small in size and confined to specific areas of the shoreline and bays. Areas where blooms are not observed can continue to be used for recreational use.

The Tompkins County Health Department urges residents and visitors to be aware of blue-green algae this summer. These blooms can occur in any calm body of water and may produce toxins that are harmful to people and animals. Do not drink the water and avoid contact with the water if it appears discolored or has an unpleasant odor. To learn more about HABs, click here: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/.

If you see a suspicious bloom, stay out of the water and report the bloom to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation at HABsInfo@dec.ny.gov. Please fill out and submit a Suspicious Algal Bloom Report Form, found here:http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/water_pdf/suspalgformedit.pdf. Email the completed form and, if possible, attach digital photos (close-up and landscape to show extent and location) of the suspected bloom to HABsInfo@dec.ny.gov.

If contact occurs with suspicious blue-green algae,

  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae, including dogs that may have gone in the water.
  • Stop using water and seek medical attention immediately if symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties occur after drinking or having contact with blooms or untreated surface water.

Report any HAB-related health symptoms to the NYS Health Department at harmfulalgae@health.ny.gov, or call the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6604.

Learn more about HABs here: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/.

 

For more information about the Health Department go to http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health. Also, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TompkinsPublicHealth/.