Blue-green algae blooms have been spotted floating atop parts of Hawrelak Park Lake. Visitors to the lake should take the following precautions:
- Avoid all contact with the algae. If contact does occur, wash with tap water as quickly as possible.
- Do not swim or wade in the lake water, or allow your pets swim or wade in any areas where the algae is visible.
- Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from the lake to your pets.
The city is also reminding you to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from Hawrelak Park Lake at any time. Boiling lake water does not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is naturally occurring, and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm. Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.
People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae, or who ingest water containing blue-green algae, may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced.
Weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the lake to another. As such, this advisory remains in effect for Hawrelak Park Lake until further notice.
Areas of Hawrelak Park Lake in which the blue-green algae bloom is not visible can still be used for recreational purposes, even while the advisory is in place.