30 June 2011

OK, lets get June up to date while its still June!

Lets start in Nova Scotia where algal scum has been noticed creeping across the top of Yarmouth County’s Lake Vaughan. Other Yarmouth County lakes including Ogden and Fanning are also reported to be in bloom.  Geographically close-by in Washington, the latest samples from Anderson Lake contain more than 1,000 times the safe level of a potent neurotoxin, the highest level of the algae-created poison seen at the popular fishing hole since it set a deadly world record in 2008.  Test results received Friday showed 1,112 micrograms per liter of anatoxin-a, for which the safe level is 1 microgram per liter. “It’s the most since 2008,” said Greg Thomason, Jefferson County environmental health specialist. In 2008, Anderson Lake water contained 172,640 micrograms per liter of anatoxin-a!  Green Lake (also in Washington) has three types of cyanobacteria present and toxins. Read more »


24 May 2011

The weather is warming up in the US and in Oregon (where all that nice pine came from) the routine annual lake testing for blue-green algae is about to kick-off.  Grand Lake St Mary’s has vomited up masses of algae and the warning signs are going up.  They will need to add “Not So…” in front of this lake’s name soon.  The use of chemicals to control algae and plants in lakes in the US is a huge industry and they love using all sorts of herbicides to keep their waterways clear.  Not sure that I agree with this approach but there it is.  The Pompton Lakes (Jersey) are coming up for a dosing and I found an interesting comment from a reader – which shows that some people are properly informed (the last sentence is insightful): “I am surprised that algae or anything else grows in Pompton Lake, after Dupont dosed it with toxic chemicals for the last 100 years. Where do you think the high levels of mercury found in fish in the lake came from? The least the billion dollar profit making corporate giant Dupont could do is pony up some money to restore the daamge they’ve done in Pompton lakes! And the algae are growing due to overloads of pollutants (nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen) and sediments caused by over-development in the watershed. Chemical treatment is NOT the answer – it is a costly band aid that causes its own environmental problems. The solution is t reduce the pollution and better aerate the pond”. Read more »


23 April 2011

Milkweed flower (Photo: Bill Harding)

Some confused reports of poor water quality from Melkbosstrand (South Africa) – “may be due to high algae levels”. If they used an AlgaeTorch they would know immediately how high….! Why speculate when you can have an answer in minutes?  By the time they have sent a sample to Pretoria or whereever…

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