Algae blooms prompt health alert for Newnans Lake

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County declared a health alert at Newnans Lake after a water sample taken on Monday revealed algae blooms.

A county release said harmful blue-green algal toxins are the cause of the alert and advised the public to take care around the site.

The release warned residents not to drink, swim, wade or operate craft where you can see a visible bloom. Also, residents should wash their skin and clothes after contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.

The county also recommends the following precautions:

  • Keep pets away from the area and use a different source of water while algae blooms persist.
  • Don’t cook or clean dishes with algae contaminated water. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
  • Don’t eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

The release noted that these blooms are common in Florida’s freshwater resources and occur in the summer and fall. The algae blooms can release dangerous toxins.

For more information on algae blooms, visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) website, and to report a bloom, call the DEP’s hotline at 855-305-3903 or file a report on its website.

You can contact the Department of Health in Alachua County for more information on this bloom.

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