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Algae bloom

This photo provided by the Cayuga County Health Department shows what a blue-green algae bloom may look like.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said test results on a water sample at Adams Point on Owasco Lake showed high toxin levels associated with blue-green algae, according to the Cayuga County Health Department on Friday.

The algae bloom sample was collected on Aug. 27 near Fire Lane 22 on the east side of Owasco Lake. This is at least the third reported instance of an algae bloom on the lake this season.

The DEC's harmful algal blooms notifications page listed the new Owasco Lake site Friday afternoon, calling the bloom status "confirmed with high toxins." It also reported a small, suspicious and localized site of blue-green algae that was spotted on Cayuga Lake on Aug. 17 between Cayuga and Seneca counties.

The Health Department said blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and animals if exposed to them. Consuming water with high toxin levels can affect the liver and nervous system, cause skin irritation and irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. 

If anyone spots suspected blue-green algae, which has a filmy, paint-like appearance, report it to HABsinfo@dec.ny.gov or harmfulalgae@health.ny.gov. If a bloom is present on Owasco Lake, report it to the lake's Watershed Inspection Program at (315) 427-5188 or (315) 237-2066.

Anyone with questions may call the Environmental Health Division of the Health Department at (315) 253-1560 or visit cayugacounty.us/environmental.

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