Blue-green algae advisory issued for Harmon Lake and others

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A harmful algae is rearing its head again this time of year, with the the state saying it may get worse.

On Friday the State Health Department issued an advisory to watch out for blue-green algae at several lakes across the state.

“It’s something that happens with still water and with the heat here,” Darbi DeFoe, Manager of Paddle On at Harmon Lake, said. She says the algae is just beginning to bloom but isn’t harmful yet.

She says keeping the water moving helps prevent the growth.

“Random storms with the wind change was really helping us out the past few weeks, so if it stays sunny like this it’ll really start to build up and get that teal color we don’t want,” DeFoe said. Hopefully some wind picks up and we can keep going.”

According to the Environmental Quality Department, the advisory is one step short of a warning, which would prevent people from getting in the water entirely.

But for now, the bloom is present in portions of the lake, and if you do get in the water, rinse off with clean water after swimming, and stay away from the scum.

The beginning of blue-green algae here at Harmon lake looks like green scum on the surface of the water. The health department says if it looks like spilled green paint to stay away.

DeFoe says the kayak-rental business did get shut down last year because of a bloom, but so far, it’s still renting and operating like normal.

“They also said be very cautious with dogs drinking the water. I do my part if I see people with dogs drinking the water I do run over there and warn them,” DeFoe said.

The algae is caused by an overgrowth of cyanobacteria in the water. It can cause allergic-like reactions, skin rashes, eye irritation and more.

Harmon Lake was one of 14 bodies of water in the area that was issued an advisory. To see a complete list, click here.

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