Algae bloom warning for Lake Munson in Leon County

Algal blooms can look and smell bad and may cause the water to appear green, reddish-brown, or...
Algal blooms can look and smell bad and may cause the water to appear green, reddish-brown, or blue. Some algal blooms are formed by species that can produce toxins.(Storyblocks)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 12:20 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 5:20 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County Health Department is warning people to be cautious in and around Lake Munson, after the discovery of harmful blue-green algae.

Health officials say a water sample taken on May 5 found the presence of algal blooms, but no toxins were detected in the laboratory analysis.

The health department advises residents and visitors to take the following precautions:

• Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.

• Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.

• Keep pets and livestock away from the area.

• Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

• Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.

• Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

The health department says blue-green algae is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. Factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms include warm, sunny weather, warm water temperatures, and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall.

For additional information on the potential health effects of algal blooms, visit

Lake Munson covers approximately 288 acres south of the city of Tallahassee in Leon County, according to a county water resource summary. The lake has a history of severe water quality and ecological problems, according to the summary.

Last June, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection tested a new machine at the lake, designed to remove toxic algae.

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