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Posted on: August 16, 2019

Watch out for Freshwater Harmful Algae Blooms


Algae blooms form in fresh water when cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) grow quickly and form scums or mats in the water. Some blooms can produce toxins harmful to people and animals. These are called harmful algae blooms and are most common in summer and early fall. Blooms frequently appear blue or green but could be another color, such as brown or red. Algae blooms can also give the water a bad odor or taste. Warm weather, sunlight, and excess nutrients in the water, help blue-green algae grow faster. If you see water that appears to be slightly discolored to resembling pea soup or thick paint, avoid coming into contact with it. Call your vet immediately if your pet has been around an algae bloom and shows symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling, or convulsions. See the Bureau of Environmental Health for additional information.

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