Health alert issued for blue-green algae found in Lake Crago
Sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients are all contributing factors to the bloom.
POLK COUNTY – Polk County health officials are warning the public to exercise caution in and around Lake Crago after blue-green algae toxins were found in the water.
The health alert comes after Florida Department of Health officials in Polk County found the bloom in a water sample taken on Feb. 15, 2022.
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria common to Florida freshwater environments, the FDOH reports. The bacteria accumulation is a result of the algae growing in the water at a rapid pace. The algae can cause discoloration to the water and produce floating mats that reek of a bad odor.
Sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients are all contributing factors to the bloom which are most frequent in the summer and fall.
Blue-green algae blooms can produce toxins that are harmful to human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.
Residents are advised to not drink, swim, wade or use personal watercraft where the bloom is present.
In the event you come in contact with blue-green algae, FDOH says you should wash your skin and clothing with soap and water. Pets should also keep away from blue-green algae as it's not safe for them either.