As of late Friday afternoon, Kiser Lake was under a Public Health Advisory, according to Ohio Department of Health. Blue-green algae toxins have exceeded the recommended threshold levels. Swimming or wading is not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, those with certain medical conditions and pets. Warning signs have been posted.
Cyanobacteria, often called blue-green algae, are commonly found in Ohio lakes, ponds and slow-moving rivers. Although many species of blue-green algae do not produce toxins, some species of blue-green algae can cause Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).
HABs occur when there is a shallow body of fresh water, warm temperatures, sunlight and excessive amounts of nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) in the water. Phosphorus and nitrogen are commonly found in animal and human wastes and in fertilizers.
Under the right conditions, the number of blue-green algae can dramatically increase or “bloom” in a body of water. Some of these HABs are visible as thick mats or scum on the surface of the water. These mats can vary in color, including bluish-green, bright green, or even red or maroon.
HABs can produce toxins that can potentially impact the health of people who come into contact with water contaminated with these toxins, depending upon the type and levels of toxins in the water, and the type of contact with the contaminated water.
For more information, contact the Champaign Health District at 937-484-1605.
Submitted by the Champaign Health District.