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Health Department issues new warning for blue-green algae at Doctors Lake

For Clay Today
Posted 6/27/24

FLEMING ISLAND — The Florida Department of Health in Clay County issued a health alert for harmful blue-green algae toxins in Doctors Lake at Wyndegate Drive and Lawrence Road. The alert is in …

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Health Department issues new warning for blue-green algae at Doctors Lake


Posted

FLEMING ISLAND — The Florida Department of Health in Clay County issued a health alert for harmful blue-green algae toxins in Doctors Lake at Wyndegate Drive and Lawrence Road. The alert is in response to a water sample taken on June 17.

The public should exercise caution in and around these areas of Doctors Lake. DOH-Clay 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, discolored water, 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 water source 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 in waters with algae blooms.

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

What is Blue-Green Algae?

 Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when the rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors. Blue-green algae blooms can also appear as scum, foam or paint on the surface of the water in various colors. To learn more about the appearance of algae blooms, visit Protecting Florida Together. Some environmental factors contributing to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins. Blue-green algae may not always be visible as a bloom, but it can still be in the water.

Is Blue-Green Algae Harmful?

Blue-green algae can produce toxins, which can harm humans, pets and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals. Sensitive individuals (e.g., children, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised) may still be at risk even at low concentrations and should avoid any exposure.

For additional information on the potential health effects of algae blooms, visit DOH’s harmful algae blooms webpage.