Health Department urges residents and the public to take precautions to avoid health risks
OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Health Department has confirmed there is a blue-green algae bloom in Clear Lake that is releasing toxins.
A water sample taken from Clear Lake on October 10th found the algae toxin Microcystin at 1201 micrograms per liter of water, well above the state standard of 6 micrograms per liter for recreational water use. Microcystin can cause liver poisoning in people and animals. Symptoms, which include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, can take hours or days to appear.
The public and residents use Clear Lake as a recreational site. When there is an algae bloom present, health officials recommend extra precautions be taken to avoid the health risks posed by the toxins.
• Avoid contact with water containing algae.
• Keep pets and livestock away from areas where algae blooms are present.
• If boating, avoid areas where algae scum is present.
• When fishing, it is safest to catch-and-release any fish caught during a toxic algae bloom.
The Health Department is notifying Clear Lake residents of the algae bloom. Sampling of the lake will be done weekly while the algae bloom is present.
You can learn more about toxic algae blooms and health risks on the Washington State Department of Health’s Blue-Green Algae website, or contact the Thurston County Health Department at 360-867-2643.