September 22, 2010 in City

Algae blooms at Long Lake, Newman Lake prompt cautions

The Spokesman-Review
 

Toxic blue-green algae blooms have been spotted on Long Lake and Newman Lake, prompting warnings for people to stay out of the water and keep their pets out, too.

The algae are prevalent in the Suncrest area and could have spread to other parts of Long Lake, according to the Department of Ecology. One water sample taken from the lake last week indicated toxins at 58.3 parts per billion. At levels greater than 6 parts per billion, people shouldn’t drink the water, swim in the water or let their pets play in the water, according to the Washington Department of Health. However, toxicity levels can change daily, officials said.

Possible effects from exposure include stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes and nerve and liver damage. Animals can die from exposure.

No illness has been reported from the current outbreak. Algae blooms most often occur in the fall. They’re also common at Liberty Lake and the Potholes Reservoir this time of year.


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