Tuesday, July 13, 2010

IL Issues Warning of Toxic Chemicals Produced by Stagnant Water Algae

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — For the first time in five years, the state is issuing an advisory over algae.

The Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters and swimmers to be careful not to ingest any of the water in Clinton Lake in DeWitt County , especially in stagnant areas or around algae blooms, because of the possibility of toxic chemicals being emitted by blue-green algae, which are common in Illinois waters.

Gregg Good, manager of the Surface Water Section for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, says the toxin is naturally occurring, but it isn’t always present; if the water is tested, the toxic chemical might be there one day and not be there the next.

The state became aware of the problem when a small dog died after drinking from the lake last week.

An autopsy is being performed on the dog, and the water is being tested. The toxin probably won’t kill a person, but it will cause stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and diarrhea.

The last time the state issued an advisory like this was in 2005 for Otter Lake in Macoupin County .

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