Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is harmful to people and pets. Before getting in the water, always look at the water around you and don't get in the water if you see blue-green algae. Water conditions can change quickly, and a test result may not always reflect the current water quality.
Spotting blue-green algae blooms
Despite its name, blue-green algae may not always be blue-green in color. It may also be reddish-purple or brown. Blue-green algae causes the water to be murky. See Photos of Algal Blooms | Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
When environmental conditions are just right, blue-green algae can grow very quickly. Most species are buoyant and will float to the surface where they form scum layers or floating mats. Blue-green algae can form blooms that can be toxic to people and animals, causing a variety of symptoms. Blue-green algae are created when there is sunshine, high levels of nutrients in the water, and other factors. Click here for more information: Understanding Blue-Green Algae | Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Be careful around blue-green algae blooms
If you have been in the water with blue-green algae
Tips for dog owners
Your dog doesn't know to avoid blue-green algae. They may drink the water or lick it off their fur and get sick, or even die. Because they're smaller than humans, it doesn't take much drinking or licking for this to happen.
You can help reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms
There is no quick and easy fix once blue-green algae appears in a lake or pond. Reducing the amount of nutrients that wash into our lakes and ponds will eventually help, but it may take a long time and a lot of community involvement.
How you can help:
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La Crosse, WI 54601
Main Business Phone: 608-785-9872
Email: [email protected]
In a public health emergency call 911
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