Local Bodies of Water May Have Harmful Algae Blooms

Several local freshwater bodies have been listed with confirmed or suspicious algal blooms that may pose a health risk.


Published:

Christian Fischer | Wikimedia Commons

Update (8/1/17): Lakes Nooteeming, Lake Peekskill, and Lake Rippowam have been cleared from the list in the last week, though a few new lakes have also been added. The DEC updates the list of algae blooms weekly here.


The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has released an updated list of freshwater bodies containing Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). Following the appearance of thirteen new blooms this past week, eleven locations throughout the Hudson Valley are currently being monitored.

Cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae, and the related red tide can be harmful to both animals and humans due in part to toxins produced by some varieties, though even nontoxic strains can upset the local ecology.

Hudson Valley blooms include:

Waterbody County Status Extent of Bloom Status Date
Basic Creek Reservoir Albany Confirmed Small localized 7/19/17
Nooteeming Lake Dutchess Suspicious Small localized 7/12/17
Croton Falls Reservoir Putnam Suspicious Widespread/Lakewide 7/11/17
Lake Carmel Putnam Confirmed Large localized 7/1/17
Lake Casse Putnam Suspicious Small localized 7/17/17
Lake Peekskill Putnam Confirmed Small localized 7/16/17
Roaring Brook Lake Putnam Confirmed with
High Toxins
Small localized 7/4/17
Nassau Lake Rensselaer Suspicious Large localized 7/20/17
Montgomery Lake Sullivan Confirmed Small localized 7/9/17
Lake Rippowam Westchester Confirmed Not reported 7/18/17
Mohegan Lake Westchester Confirmed Open water 7/4/17

 

Most troubling are the Mohegan and Roaring Brook Lake blooms. "Open water" blooms according the the DEC means the "sample was collected near the center of the lake and may indicate that the bloom is widespread and conditions may be worse along shorelines or within recreational areas." A status of "confirmed with high toxins" at Roaring Brook Lake, meanwhile, indicates that lab samples taken confirm the presence of toxins in sufficient levels as to be harmful to people and animals who come in contact with the water by either swimming or drinking.

Local Health Departments will make notice of any closures of public beaches or drinking water concerns, but the DEC recommends that people, pets, and livestock all avoid contact with any water with green, blue-green, yellow, brown, or reddish algae scums on its surface. Should contact occur, wash the algae off with freshwater. Do not drink the water even if treated, as this may purify the water of algae but not the toxins they potentially produce. Persons experiencing vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties occur after drinking or exposure should seek medical attention.

The DEC asks residents who suspect a bloom to submit a Suspicious Algal Bloom Form with digital photos if possible to the below address.

 

For more information, contact your regional Department of Environmental Conservation office or email the HABs program at HABsInfo@dec.ny.gov.

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