In response to an water sample taken from Eagle Lake Park (Lake #2) in Largo on September 13th, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County has issued a health alert due to the presence of blue-green algal toxins in the lake.
Warning signs will be posted to notify visitors of the blue-green algal toxins. Visitors are also advised to NOT drink, swim, wade or use personal watercraft in the lake where there is a visible bloom. Pets should also be kept away from the water during the bloom as the water is not safe for them to consume.
According to a Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County press release, “blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.”
Sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients can all contribute to blue-green algae blooms. It is not unlikely to see a bloom year-round but they typically happen in summer and fall seasons.
The blue-green algae blooms can have a negative impact on not only human health but also the ecosystem and the fish and other aquatic animals that call the lake home.
To find current updates about Florida’s water quality status and public health notifications for harmful algal blooms and beach conditions, visit https://protectingfloridatogether.gov.
To report a bloom to the Department of Environmental Protection, call: 855-305-3903 or report online.
To report fish kills, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.
If you have any other concerns about blue-green algae blooms, call the Department of Health-Pinellas at 727-507-4336.