Water-Related News

Health alert issued for blue-green algae found in Tiger Lake

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UPDATE: The Florida Dept. of Environmental resampled Tiger Lake on 7/11/2022 and renewed the health alert:

Cyanotoxins associated with Blue-Green Algae were detected in these waters. If ingested, water contaminated with toxic cyanobacteria can cause nausea, vomiting and, in severe cases, acute liver failure. Avoid swimming in or drinking water from these waters while blue-green algal blooms are present.

LAKE WALES – The Florida Department of Health in Polk County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in Tiger Lake (East Shore). This is in response to a water sample taken on 05/09/2022. The public should exercise caution in and around Tiger Lake (East Shore).

Blooms have the potential to produce toxins, what triggers them to begin producing toxins remains poorly understood. For this reason, it is important to exercise caution, as bloom conditions are dynamic and could change at any time. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) collects algae samples from reported bloom locations for toxin analysis. Once completed, the results will be posted on the DEP Algal Bloom Dashboard and can also be viewed on the Protecting Florida Together website. On this website, you can also sign up to be notified of the latest conditions.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • You should not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski, or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Avoid getting water in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • You should keep pets and livestock away from the waters in this location.
  • 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.
  • You should not eat shellfish from this location.

For more information about blue-green algae, visit the Florida Dept. of Health website.