Algal blooms observed ‘throughout Conesus Lake’

Photo courtesy of Livingston County Department of Health

A harmful blue green algal bloom has recently been found in areas throughout Conesus Lake, announced the Livingston County Department of Health Wednesday afternoon.

Blooms occur when algae multiply very rapidly over a short period of time, usually in calm, warm, water. There are thousands of different algae species, however, a few of these may produce toxins. The toxins are a concern when there is a high level present in the water.

The Livingston County Department of Health is monitoring for algae blooms and may collect samples of the water if the bloom is concentrated and persistent. Harmful algal blooms may persist in varying degrees and at various locations throughout the summer and fall seasons. The public water supply is safe for drinking.

Contact with the algae may result in some health effects such as itching, rashes, fever, headache, upper respiratory symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are not just caused by harmful algae contact.

The department of health is advising those who experience any of these symptoms to seek medical advice.

Residents are advised not to drink or use the lake water for cooking and not to swim, wade, play, or come into direct contact with water that is discolored or has scum on the surface. Contact with surface water when open cuts or wounds are present on the body should also be avoided.

Pets should not be allowed to drink or to come into contact with discolored water. If contact occurs, wash with soap and clean water to remove algal material. Always rinse after coming into contact with any surface water whether or not a blue-green algae bloom is present.

Questions may be directed to the Livingston County Department of Health. The department can be reached at (585) 243-7280 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by email at dept-of-health@co.livingston.ny.us.

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