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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 floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.

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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