(KXNET) — Several lakes and dams in the KX viewing area have been added to the current Harmful Algal Bloom Water Advisory/Warning list.
As of the August 30 update by the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, 7 of the 11 listings involve locations in western North Dakota. They are:
- Grant County: Lake Tschida – water advisory
- Stark County: Patterson Lake – water advisory
- Williams County: Epping-Springbrook Dam – water advisory
- Morton County: Sweet Briar Lake – water advisory
- Sioux County: Froelich Dam – water advisory
- Bowman County: Bowman-Haley Dam – water advisory
- Ward County: Makoti Lake – water warning
A “water advisory” means the lake or dam may contain blue-green algae that can be harmful to humans and pets. People are advised to avoid swimming, waterskiing or tubing if the water appears to have a green color or tint. You’re also advised to avoid swallowing the water and to rinse off with non-lake water.
A “water warning” means the lake or dam contains high concentrations of blue-green algal toxins that can be harmful to humans and pets. People are advised not to swim, waterski or tube in the water.
The phrase to remember, says the state: “When in doubt, stay out.”
A harmful algae bloom is, essentially, an overgrowth of cyanobacteria in surface water. They are microscopic organisms that, en masse, create a blue-green appearance like a floating bloom or crust on the water.
The toxins can cause harm to people, wildlife, livestock, pets and aquatic life. Almost every year in North Dakota a few cases of pet and livestock deaths occur due to drinking water with harmful algae blooms.
Specific human health effects are:
- Allergic-like reactions
- Skin rashes
- Eye irritation
- Respiratory irritation
- Neurological effects
The algae blooms develop in part from excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen seeping into the water, warm water temperatures, slow-moving water and lengthy sunlight.
You can view and download the complete advisory/warning list here.
You can learn more about harmful algae blooms and how they form here.