Blue-Green Algae: The DEC recommends that swimmers and pets should avoid any discolored water that has the appearance of paint, pea soup, streaks or scum on the surface. There is no indication of high risk for swimming in the open water or places where these conditions are not apparent.
You can find out more about harmful algae blooms at the DEC website:http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html and the DOH website athttp://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae.htm. This guidance includes the following:
- There’s no way to tell by looking if the bloom contains toxins or not. Please use common sense and stay out of water that has the appearance of paint, pea soup, streaks, or scum on the surface. This applies to adults, children and pets.
- If people or pets are exposed to a bloom, rinse with clean water
- Don’t drink the water in or near the bloom
- Anglers should not eat fish caught from areas that look like spilled paint or pea soup
- The symptoms of blue-green algae bloom exposure are very similar to symptoms from other gastrointestinal illnesses, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. If you believe you have been exposed to a bloom and are experiencing symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.