CyanoAlert winds to a close…

28 July 2013

In three days time the CyanoAlert service on this blog will come to an end after more than two years of reporting!  As we said at the outset, the purpose of CyanoAlert was to raise local awareness about nutrient enrichment in lakes, rivers and ponds and the threat of excessive and possibly toxic algal growth in such waters.  CyanoAlert has tracked how various countries address the problem, in particular the manner in which they report incidents in the press – and the various allied debates and issues.  From the responses received the original intentions have been met but – unfortunately – our sponsorship for the newsfeed service that we use has come to an end.

So,now to today’s reports:

Silver Lake in Illinois is causing a big stink because of algal growth in the lake.  Of course the same algae could also be producing toxins so the authorities need to make sure of this as well.

“The city has been receiving calls about the taste and odor of tap water. We want to assure you the water is safe for consumption and use. The Water Treatment Plant draws water from Silver Lake, and the lake is experiencing an algae bloom from warmer days and no movement of water over the spillway. The Water Treatment Plant is taking steps to adjust the treatment process to address the issue. The algae doesn’t affect the quality of the water, just gives it an unpleasant taste and smell.”

Gibbs Lake, south of Port Townsend in Washington State, was closed on July 18th after high levels of microcystin were discovered in the monthly test of a water sample.  Anderson Lake has been closed since May 17, when State Parks shut it down only three weeks after it was opened for the fishing season April 27 because of high levels of anatoxin-a.

Nolin River Lake in the blue grass state has been closed – although the picture shown in the report looks more like harmless blanket weed (Cladophora sp) – but this is not to say that blue-greens are also present.  Cladophora is mostly seen as a problem because it is unsightly when it goes yellow and bubbly – but ill-advised removal often just creates a space for a real nasty!

The following report comes from California:

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services issued a health advisory Thursday warning people and dogs to avoid contact with algae in the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Klamath and Mattole rivers, Big Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon and all other freshwater bodies.

Warm inland temperatures and low flows have created the ideal conditions for the rapid blooming of blue-green algae, according to a DHHS press release. The algae looks like green, blue-green, white or brown scum, foam or mats floating on the water. Algal masses or blooms can produce natural toxins that are very potent.

Symptoms in dogs include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions, according to the release. People can experience eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold- or flu-like symptoms.

From Canada comes this report:

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is warning about the development of potentially toxic blue-green algae on Katepwa and Echo Lakes.

We have had quite a few reports from the UK this summer season – and not surprising given the heatwave they are experiencing! Here’s another one:

Dog owners are being urged to avoid walking their pets near Budworth Mere at Marbury Park. Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) has today, Friday, warned dog owners to avoid the area after routine water testing carried out by the Environment Agency discovered levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae.The toxins produced by algae are poisonous to animals and can cause severe illness and in some cases, death.


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