Algae bloom detected on Hardy Dam pond in Newaygo County


The District No. 10 Health Department announced on Tuesday that an algae bloom had been detected on Hardy Dam Pond in Newaygo County.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) collected samples on August 11 and sent them to the MDHHS lab. The results came back positive for microcystin, an algal toxin released by certain types of algae in lakes or rivers. Algae blooms can form when there are high levels of nutrients in water bodies and warm temperatures.

Further testing will take place during the week of August 23. The MDHHS informs the owners of the first results.

“The algae blooms look like a green carpet just above water that smells bad and has a gelatinous texture,” said Tom Reichard, director of environmental health for DHD # 10. “The algae toxins that are released can be harmful to aquatic life, pets and humans, so it is very important to avoid these areas.”

Here are some measures to take near waterways:

  • Avoid direct contact with waterways that appear to be filthy or have a green tint
  • Do not drink untreated surface water
  • Obey the signatory displayed for public health notices and / or beach closures
  • Limit or avoid eating fish from areas affected by algae blooms

Contact with algal blooms can cause minor illness in humans, but can be fatal to pets. Therefore, it is also recommended that people keep their pets out of water that shows signs of algae blooms.

People and pets may experience the following symptoms after exposure to algal blooms:

  • Rash, hives, or skin blisters at the site of skin contact
  • Runny eyes and / or nose, sore throat, asthma-like symptoms or allergic reactions
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, tingling in the fingers, numbness, dizziness, difficulty in breathing or even death resulting from ingestion of contaminated water

If you think you have been exposed to algae blooms, take the following precautions:

  • Immediately remove yourself and / or your pet from the area
  • Take a shower and rinse pets thoroughly with clean, cool water if they have swam in an area with algae blooms to avoid potential toxic ingestion due to licking
  • Seek medical treatment for yourself and / or veterinary treatment for your pet as soon as possible if you suspect that you or your pet have been exposed to or ingested algae toxins.

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