Follow-up Blue-Green Algae Water Test produces lower results.

Follow-up Blue-Green Algae Water Test produces lower results

Ten lakes in Kosciusko and Whitley Counties were randomly selected for water testing the first week of September for blue-green algae and the algal toxin Microcystin.  Lake Wawasee was one of two lakes that tested in the high range for algal toxins (see chart below).   With Wawasee’s clean water reputation, the results of this test got a lot of attention. 

Microcystin is a toxin that is created by some blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria.)  Blue-green algae are found in all of our Indiana lakes, and some have the ability to create a dangerous toxin.  Direct contact with algal toxins can cause skin irritation.  Drinking untreated water, intentionally or accidentally, may result in gastrointestinal illness and more severe liver and neurological damage.

 A series of additional water tests from four locations in Wawasee Lake and one location in Syracuse lake were completed the first week of October.   The results:  all tested in the LOW range for Microcystin and cyanobacteria (with the execption of the DNR public launch ramp on Wawasee, which was in the Moderate range for cyanobacteria). 

The best thing we can do for our lakes is to prevent these algae toxins from getting any worse.  Toxins and weeds are a symptom of water pollution.   Please help to keep our lakes clean! We can all help – every little bit counts:

.   do not rake leaves or lawn clippings into the lake

.  keep fertilizers well back from the edge and use phosphorous-free fertilizers

.  install a stone seawall or natural shoreline

.  do not stir up the bottom of the lake with your boat propeller.  Cautious boating in shallow areas may be our best defense.   

 

 What Should I Look for to Avoid Toxic Algae?

The toxic strains of blue-green algae usually have heavy surface growths of pea green colored clumps, scum or streaks, with a disagreeable odor and taste. It can have a thickness similar to motor oil and often looks like thick paint in the water.  Algae blooms usually accumulate near the shoreline where pets and children have easy access and the water is shallow and more stagnant. It is important to keep a watchful eye on children and pets so that they do not enter the water.  Water with any of the characteristics listed below is symptomatic of a blue-green algae bloom and may contain toxins:

• A neon green, pea green, blue-green or reddish-brown color.

• A bad odor.

• Foam, scum or a thick paint-like appearance on the water surface.

• Green or blue-green streaks on the surface, or accumulations along shorelines

 

What are the Risks and Symptoms?

 

Pets and farm animals have died from drinking water containing toxic blue-green algae (or licking their wet hair/fur/ paws after they have been in the water). Blue-green algae toxins have been known to persist in water for several weeks after the bloom has disappeared.

 

While there are no U.S. standards regulating algal cell counts, the World Health Organization designates risk categories for recreational contact with water.

Relative Probability of Acute Health Effects

Cyanobacteria (cell/mL)

Microcystin (ug/L)

Low

< 20, 000

< 10

Moderate

20,000-100,000

10-20

High

100,000-10 million

20-2,000

 

 

Results of samples collected in nearshore areas in Wawasee and Syracuse Lakes

 

Sept. 2009                                                                               Oct. 2009____________

Wawasee – High                                                                     Wawasee Lake – Low*

                                                                                                 Syracuse Lake – Low

                                                                                        *   Exception of DNR launch ramp

 

 

For more information on blue-green algae, visit Indiana’s Blue-Green Algae Web site <http://algae.in.gov>. The Web site is a collaborative effort of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Indiana Board of Animal Health, in cooperation with the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  Dr. Howell from the State Health Department says it is always a good idea to take a bath or shower with warm, soapy water after coming in contact with untreated water in ponds and lakes, especially before preparing or consuming food. He also recommends people never drink, cook, or shower with untreated water from lakes, ponds, or streams. Pets and livestock should also not be allowed to swim in or drink untreated water from these sources.

 

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REVISED ANNUAL MEETING PRESENTATION

For the health and safety of everyone, the WACF Board of Directors has cancelled the public meeting of the WACF *ANNUAL LAKE CELEBRATION & BRUNCH, *scheduled for Saturday, July 25th, 10:30 AM at the WACF Education Center.
In its place, the Board of Directors will attend the WACF ANNUAL MEETING, on Saturday, July 25, in-person, and socially-distanced, at the Ruddell Pavilion and the Jorgensen Amphitheater at the WACF Center. Board members and staff may also attend remotely.
The agenda for the Annual Meeting will include: a presentation by Dr. Jerry Sweeten, Ecosystems Connections Institute, on initial research and findings from the first year of the Wawasee Inlets Nutrient Study (WINS), the WACF Cattail Awards, recognizing exceptional commitment to the
enhancement of water quality in the Wawasee Area Watershed, and a salute to WACF volunteers.
Highlights of the Annual Meeting will be made available via remote
live-streaming or on the WACF YouTube Channel. Details on internet access of the meeting will be posted on www.wacf.com and WACF Facebook page.


SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER
FALL 2019 NEWSLETTER


Key WACF Acquisition

After a full 20 years of negotiations with the property owner, WACF has acquired what is arguably their most important property. The Turkey Creek Inlet Preserve (across from Runaway Bay) filters the approximately 43% of water flowing into Lake Wawasee. Please take a few minutes to listen to Tom Yoder explain the importance of this property to Lake Wawasee.


New WACF Water Study


WACF is undertaking a new and comprehensive wetland water quality study that will allow us to focus our resources on the most critical hot spots. Read more….