CHAUTAUQUA LAKE – Two beaches in Chautauqua County are closed due to harmful algal blooms.
The Chautauqua County Department of Health says the harmful algal blooms are created when blue-green algae release toxins which can be harmful to human and animal health.
The blooms are more likely in areas near the shore than open water areas and are known to contain higher toxin levels than those in open water.
Officials advise residents to use caution when entering the water where an active bloom is present.
They stress not to ingest the water and closely watch children and pets. If exposed to algae, wash off immediately.
“Lake water that is properly treated through an approved DHHS water treatment plant does not pose a risk,” said Chautauqua County Director of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler. “Swimming or recreating in areas where the water contains high levels of toxin can cause skin irritation and other symptoms to those with high sensitivity.”
Schuyler asked those around the water to also take the following precautions:
- When swimming, wading, or boating, avoid areas with blooms or surface scums, or water that is noticeably discolored.
- Do not allow young children or pets to play in water where an algal bloom is present.
- Don’t fish or eat fish caught from areas with blooms or surface scums, or water that is noticeably discolored.
- Pay attention to beach closures, advisory signs, press releases, and websites. Never swim at beaches that have been closed.
- Never drink, prepare food, cook, or make ice with untreated surface water, bloom or no bloom.