Serpico Landscaping wants you to know those blue-green algae blooms in lakes and waterways mean you need to avoid the water and know water safety rules!
According to the Department of Water Resources (DWR), cyanobacteria (blue-green) algae bloom may have microcystin toxins in the water at oftentimes levels high enough for DWR to continue its warnings to the public to not swim or water-ski.
Warning signs posted at California lake’s and beaches mean no swimming for you or pets! However, activities near the water such as picnicking and hiking are safe. Because these blooms can form and die off fairly rapidly, DWR continues to test water and will update any advisory if conditions change.
Take Precautions for Algae Blooms
Based on testing results, the following precautions from the Voluntary Statewide Guidance for Blue-Green Algae Blooms are to:
- Avoid water contact, including wading, swimming and water-skiing
- Rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible, If you come in contact with the water
- Not allow dogs to drink or go into the water or eat scum on the shoreline
- Not drink or cook with lake water. Boiling or filtering the water will not remove the toxins
- Avoid boating over mats of algae to prevent accidental inhalation or ingestion of spray
- Not eat fish or shellfish caught in the lake. This is not recommended. If you choose to consume fish, remove the guts and liver and rinse fillets in tap water before eating fish
- Always warn young children not to swallow any lake water, whether or not you see signs of algae
- Contact your doctor of veterinarian if you or your pet become sick after going in the water
Know About Water Toxins
Sunlight, warm temperatures, nutrients in the water and calm conditions can all contribute to algal blooms, which are considered to be harmful if they produce toxins that can affect people and pets when they contact affected water.
People can be exposed to the toxins when they accidentally ingest water while swimming or waterskiing. The toxins can also contact the skin during swimming or be inhaled if they become aerosolized, such as during water-skiing or jet skiing.
Exposure to high concentrations of these toxins can cause skin rashes, eye, nose, mouth or throat irritation, headache and gastrointestinal upset. Dogs can also become ill if they ingest the water or lick their fur after contacting the affected water.
Additional information on harmful algal blooms can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board website — Serpico Landscaping wants you to know these precautions for water safety whenever you see blue-green algae blooms.