4 September 2011

The rain that came with Hurricane Irene seems to have washed the algae out of Lake Tabor (Fayetteville, NC).  Water samples have been sent to Florida (!) – does no-one in America do shoreline testing using dipstick kits (?) before any swimming restrictions can be lifted.

At Lake Texoma, it’s not just swimmers taking precaution this Labor Day weekend. Boaters are afraid of the blue green algae too. Lake Texoma (Dallas, Texas) looks more like a ghost town.  The water has been determined to be unsafe for people and pets, and the lake is closed to swimmers. While boating on the lake is still permitted, boaters are being asked to slow down to reduce the amount of water spray.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Thursday that levels of blue-green algae at Marion County Lake are still too high for direct contact with the water.

To protect Ohioans’ health, drinking water and a $10 billion-a-year tourism trade, the stream of phosphorus into Lake Erie must be reduced by two-thirds – finally, a group fixing the problem at the start, not at the other end!  Parts of Lake Erie are critically ill. The signs of sickness float on the surface of its warm and shallow western basin: blue-green algae blooms that contain a liver toxin, microcystin. Signs warn would-be swimmers to stay out of the water, away from the undulating scum off the beach at Maumee Bay State Park.

I have mentioned this before, but its in the press again.  Blue-green algae pose a major threat to hunting dogs who have to retrieve the kill by swimming (I never could understand the mentality of this sport but I suppose some men just have to have big guns – but this opinion extends to all forms of hunting).   Recent cases included three Wisconsin dog deaths from blue-green algae poisoning reported in 2008 and two in 2009. . What is commonly referred to as blue-green algae are actually cyanobacteria, which are present in all lakes, marshes, ponds and ditches across Wisconsin but live unrecognized except for when the right conditions develop and the cyanobacteria grow quickly.   Hunters should be on the lookout for these conditions in the field: a green “pea soup” appearance, surface water blooms that are green, blue, red, or brown in color, or foamy scum layers, mats or blobs.

While Anderson Lake (WA) apparently remains safe for fishing during the Labor Day weekend, the level of an algae-produced toxin in Gibbs Lake is climbing.  The level of microcystin, a slow-acting toxin produced by blue-green algae, is below the safety threshold of 6 micrograms per liter of water, tests show, but it has been climbing.

Toxic blue-greens are back in Wrexham Lake (Acton, UK).

Hussain Sagar Lake (Hyderabad, India) has become polluted by the entry of untreated sewage and industrial effluent that flows into the lake. As a result, nutrient rich sediments accumulated in the lake bed which in turn acted as an internal source of supply of nutrients to the Lake water. Other sources of pollution included cattle washing, vehicle washing, dumping of domestic solid waste along the shoreline, as well as the immersion of large numbers of Ganesh and Durga Idols during festivals containing paints, clay, gypsum and plaster of Paris, flowers and garlands. Due to the resulting eutrophication, algal blooms with emission of bad odour, the water body is not conducive for recreation and pisciculture.  I would think so, it seems to have everything dumped into bar radioactive waste.  The State Government has installed seven fountains, which will not only improve the water quality, but will add to the beauty of the lake. It may take more than a few fountains to turn this mess around!

Remember, someone is always downstream of the toxic mess you discard!

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