Summertime means many things including spending time on and in the water. While that is certainly a fun thing to do, if you head out to a lake or pond this summer, there is something to be on the lookout for.

The Chenango County Health Department recently released a note about Algal Blooms. Algal Blooms contain harmful algae and can be found in slow-moving or stagnant bodies of water.

Contact can result in illness for both humans and animals. Algal Blooms can be identified in several ways including foam, scum, mats or spilled paint according to the Chenango County Health Department. 

While our in our area, the most common color is green, Algal Blooms, which can be toxic, can also be yellow, red, brown, blue and orange. If you encounter a body of water with Algal Booms, stay away from that area.

If you do come into contact with Algal Blooms, the Chenango County Health Department recommends you rinse with clean water, and contact a healthcare provider if there are signs of illness after contact.

For pets and livestock that come into contact or consume water containing  Algal Blooms, and you observe signs of illness, contact a veterinary professional. And if you catch any fish near areas containing Algal Blooms, do not eat the fish.

For more information about Harmful Algal Blooms, including a map of New York State listing areas of water where it can be found and to report suspicious growth, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Or call the Chenango County Health Department at 607-337-1660.


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