FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Once again officials are warning lake visitors of harmful algae in the water.
After recent water samples from the lake, researched found a higher than normal level of algae toxin called Microcystin, or a “bloom.”
The spring’s heavy and frequent rainstorms combined with the lake’s nutrient levels and recent warm temperatures have sped up the rapid growth of algae, creating an algae bloom.
The rain washes landscaping fertilizers, which contain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, downstream into the lake.
Recent test results show 15 micrograms per liter (g/L) of Microcystin. Measurements over 10 micrograms per liter require notification to the public and appropriate organizations.
This comes less than a week after officials announced the levels returned to normal.
According to a press release from the city’s water and sewer operations, Lake Fayetteville visitors should follow precautions while at the lake.
Visitors should avoid areas of algae accumulation, rinse off with clean, treated water after being in the lake, clean fish well and properly dispose of the guts and do not let pets drink lake water or eat the dried algae.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there are relatively few documented cases of severe human health effects. If inhalation or ingestion occurs by a human or pet – watch for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, rash, irritated eyes, seizures, breathing problems or other unexplained illness and contact a doctor or veterinarian.
City officials remind residents and businesses to be aware of materials such as fertilizers, petroleum products, detergents, etc. that rain washes into our natural waterways and infrastructure. Learn more stormwater management and water quality at the City’s website here.
Officials will notify the public once levels have diminished.