Water-Related News

DOH-Polk cautions about Blue-Green Algae at multiple lakes

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July 1, 2024

POLK COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) is cautioning the public of the presence of blue-green algae in Lake Conine - at Lucerne Park Road Boat Ramp and in Lake Van - end of Lake Van Road on June 26, 2024. Water sample testing is underway. Blue-green algae have the potential to produce toxins. Since environmental conditions can change at any time, it is important to exercise caution, even if presence of toxins has not yet been confirmed.

DOH-Polk advises residents and visitors to take the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercrafts, or come into contact with waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have any contact with algae, or discolored or water that smells unpleasant.
  • Keep pets and livestock away from the area to avoid any contact with water. Waters where algae blooms are present are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should use an alternative 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 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 thoroughly.
  • Do not eat shellfish from waters with algae blooms.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and partners collect algae samples (link opens in new window) from reported bloom locations. After samples are analyzed at their laboratory, the toxin results can be viewed on Protecting Florida Together (link opens in new window) or on DEP’s Algal Bloom Dashboard (link opens in new window).