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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.

Toxins from harmful algal blooms are still showing up in water from Skaneateles Lake, according to the latest test results released Thursday from the state Department of Health. However, officials said the addition of chlorine is keeping toxins out of customers' tap water.

In a joint statement from the Onondaga County Health Department and the city of Syracuse's Department of Water, levels of microcystin, the toxin found in some harmful algal blooms, was detected at 0.25 micrograms per liter in the city of Syracuse's gatehouse located in the village of Skaneateles. That level was detected prior to chlorination, according to the statement.

That's still under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 10-day health advisory guideline for vulnerable populations, which officials said makes the water safe to drink. All other locations that receive water from Skaneateles Lake had non-detect levels of toxins. In the meantime, local officials will continue to collect daily water samples until all samples consistently show no toxins.

Meanwhile, drinking water from Owasco Lake continues to remain free of toxins. The Cayuga County Health Department received test results late Thursday from its samples collected on Wednesday at the city of Auburn and town of Owasco's treatment plants. Kathleen Cuddy, director of the health department, said drinking water showed no detectable levels. It was not clear Thursday night if toxins were detected in the untreated water entering the plants.

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.


County Government Reporter