Water-Related News

DOH-Polk lifts Blue-Green Algae Alerts for Lake Hancock-South Central and Scott Lake-West

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June 4, 2024

LAKELAND – The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) lifted the health alerts issued on May 23, 2024, for harmful blue-green algae toxins in Lake Hancock - South Central and Scott Lake - West. Follow-up water samples tested by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not detect algae toxins, indicating the public may resume water-related activities.

It is important that the public exercise caution as blue-green algae bloom status can change when conditions are favorable. Residents and visitors are advised to avoid contact with the water if they see algae blooms.

The latest sampling results can be viewed on the FDEP Algal Bloom Dashboard (link opens in new window).

Original notice follows:

May 29, 2024

UPDATE: DOH-Polk has upgraded the notice for the lakes below from a Health Caution to a Health Alert. The alerts are in response to water samples taken on May 23, 2024. The public should continue to exercise caution in and around Lake Van, Lake Gibson – West, and Lake Conine - Boat Ramp.

Criteria to issue a blue-green algae Health Caution is when DEP sampling results show that a bloom has been visually detected and/or when sampling results indicate the dominant algal species to be cyanobacteria. Criteria to issue a blue-green algae Health Alert is the presence of cyanotoxin. A blue-green algae Health Alert is lifted once toxins are not detected according to the analyses obtained from DEP-coordinated resampling of the bloom or if 30 days have elapsed since the last sampling date.

May 24, 2024

POLK COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) is cautioning the public of the presence of blue-green algae in Scott Lake – West, Lake Van, Lake Hancock – South Central, Lake Gibson – West,