Toxic Algae Blooms
Toxic Algae Blooms: What You Need to Know
WARNING: If you suspect a blue green algae bloom, do not allow your children to swim in the water or allow pets or livestock to consume the water.
Algae blooms are one of the most common problems in lakes and ponds of all sizes. They are also one of the most difficult to remediate. Excessive algae growth is a sign that the ecosystem of your lake or pond is out of balance. How to prevent an algae bloom requires addressing the underlying problem.
What Is An Algae Bloom?
Algae blooms are most common in the spring and summer months, when sunlight and rising water temperatures create ideal conditions for growth. Algae blooms can be blue, green, gray, red, brown or a number of additional colors. It can look like pea soup, green scum or even clumps of green growth.
Phytoplankton are microscopic algae that is present in any aquatic ecosystem. It plays an important role in producing nutrients and maintaining the health of fish and other native flora and fauna. When a lake or pond’s ecosystem is out of balance, it can lead to unchecked growth of algae populations, known as algal blooms.
If you know or suspect that your lake has an algae problem, do not drink from or swim in it. Certain harmful algae bloom toxins can make humans or animals very sick.
Why Are Algae Blooms Harmful?
Algae blooms are harmful because, they can contain toxins. Cyanobacteria — also known as blue-green algae — can contain powerful toxins associated with a number of negative health consequences, including:
- Eye and skin irritation, allergic reactions such as sores and rashes, asthma and other conditions
- Stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headaches and potentially even long-term liver damage
The toxins in algae blooms affect both humans and animals. Pets, livestock and wild animals that drink pond water contaminated with cyanobacteria can become very sick due to toxic algae poisoning and can dye.
Toxic Algae Blooms and the Ecosystem
Excessive algae growth throws aquatic ecosystems completely out of balance, depriving fish and plants of oxygen and important nutrients. This can lead to the creation of dead zones — also known as hypoxia.
How Can Algae Problems Be Corrected?
Fixing harmful algae blooms requires correcting the underlying problems that led to their growth in the first place. Because the toxins in algae blooms can spread rapidly, early intervention is key. This can include a combination of product, mechanical, physical and biological interventions.
Once steps have been taken to correct the problem, ongoing monitoring is essential. If you plan on using your lake or pond for recreation, professional testing is absolutely required before exposing yourself to a potentially harmful situation.
If you suspect your lake or pond is experiencing a harmful algae bloom, contact Riverdale Water Management right away. We can provide testing and consulting to assess the severity of the problem and develop a comprehensive remediation plan. Call 877-745-6898