Water-Related News

Polk County Dept. of Health issues Health Alerts for five lakes

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June 9, 2023

POLK COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Polk County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in Lake Rochelle – At Dock, Lake Hancock – South Central, Lake Smart – At Hibiscus Dr, Old Lake Davenport – Southwest Dock, and Tiger Lake – Center. This is in response to water samples taken on 6/1/2023 and 6/6/2023.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
  • Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. 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.
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

Updated water quality status can be found on the Florida DEP Algal Bloom Dashboard.