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ENVIRONMENT

First harmful algal bloom of summer reported on Owasco Lake

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Harmful algal blooms

The first harmful algal blooms on Owasco Lake this summer was reported by the Cayuga County Health Department on Thursday.

In a press release, the Owasco Lake Watershed Association on Tuesday reported the blooms to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. According to DEC, the algal bloom was relatively small and localized near the Owasco Country Club on the eastern side of the lake. 

Owasco Lake is the source of public drinking water for the city of Auburn and the town of Owasco. Public water supplies that draw water from surface water are treated, disinfected, and monitored. The public would be notified by the Cayuga County Health Department if public water supplies are adversely impacted by HABs.

The Cayuga County Health Department reminds the public how to know, avoid and report harmful algal blooms:

• HABs look like discolored water with a paint-like or filmy appearance or floating scum

• Always stay away from blooms in lakes or streams

• Never swim, fish, boat, wade or eat fish caught in areas with blooms

• Never drink, prepare food, cook, or make ice with a private water supply drawn directly from a lake that is untreated or improperly treated

• If you see a harmful algal bloom, you can report it to the NYSDEC at dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html

More information regarding can be found at cayugacounty.us/health. Any questions or to report any symptoms be related to exposure to HABs, contact the Cayuga County Health Department at (315) 253-1560.

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