Conesus Lake is the thirteenth place to appear on this year’s official list of algae bloom alerts.
The algae blooms became more and more frequent. One of the causes is the temperature rise due to climate change. Algae blooms thrive in habitats that offer them nutrients and sunlight. The plants prefer warm temperatures and low-flow waters.
Only in New York, the official reports show the presence of 281 algae outbursts.
Algae Bloom Habitats
The algae usually live in lakes, bays, ponds, streams and reservoirs, and have colors in shades of green. They are sometimes accompanied by foam or froth, and survive in waters just until the beginning of autumn, when temperatures start to drop.
The blue-green algae release toxins that can affect humans, pets and wildlife. Another negative aspect of the blooms is the imbalance it creates in the ecosystem.
Moreover, a study showed that people living in the vicinity of contaminated lakes are more prone to develop amytrophic lateral sclerosis.
Experts advise avoiding swimming in waters that contain this type of algae. Drinking water from a contaminated spring is also to be strictly avoided. It is important to know that classical water treatment, such as boiling or the use of chlorine disinfectants, do not offer protection against algae toxins.
Untreated surface water can contain parasites, viruses or bacteria, thus the officials alert the population to avoid it under all circumstances.
The direct contact with algae toxins contaminated water can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and irritations.
Not all algae blooms are dangerous; however it is very difficult to identify the differences between species. Only laboratory analysis can determine the presence of toxins.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has a list of all current locations of toxic algae. Once the plant settles in a particular pond or lake, it often reappears year after year.
The lakes and ponds that contain toxins are still open to public. Only beaches that operate under DEC license can be closed because of an algae bloom. As most of the lakes are in the wild, the public is advised to verify the water quality after taking the decision to spend their leisure time near the water.
Regarding the algae blooms that appear in private ponds, the officials recommend the reduction of nutrients by limiting lawn fertilization, septic tanks installation, reducing erosion and keeping the water moving.
The municipalities are offered grant funding for projects aimed at reducing pollution.
Image Source: Wikipedia