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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 26, 2015
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Thurston County Environmental Health Division, (360) 867-22582
Art Starry, Thurston County Environmental Health Division at (360) 867-2587

Algae Advisories in effect for Deep and Black Lakes
Swimmers, pet owners and anglers advised to avoid contact

The toxic blue-green algae advisory that has been in effect for Deep Lake since October 6 continues, and a new advisory is now in effect for to Black Lake. Swimming in water with algae toxins or drinking it can lead to serious illness, so people and pets are being advised to stay out of the water at Deep and Black Lakes. Anglers who fish either of the lakes are advised to practice catch and release until the advisory is lifted.

Water samples taken from Deep Lake and Black Lake on October 19 found the algae toxin Microcystin at 72 micrograms per liter of water and 88 micrograms per liter of water, respectively. Results for both lakes are 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 in humans and death in animals, can take hours or days to appear.

"Both of these lakes are popular spots for boaters and anglers," said Art Starry, Director of the county's Environmental Health Division. "Our advice is that people stay out of the lakes and not take the chance of getting sick. It is especially important to keep small children and pets out of the water."

Warning signs are already posted at public access points for Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park, including the public boat launch. Signs will be posted for Black Lake at Kennydell Park, the public boat launch and the community docks across from Black Lake Grocery. Both lakes will be monitored weekly until the algae levels are at or below the state standard and the advisories can be lifted.

While not all algae blooms are toxic, some algae can produce toxins that can harm the nervous system, the liver, the skin, and the stomach and intestines. Experts from the county's Environmental Health Division recommend a few simple tips to help prevent illness from algae:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, wind surfing and water-skiing in waters where algae blooms are present.
  • Don't drink untreated surface water.
  • Keep pets and livestock out of waters with algae blooms.
  • When fishing, catch-and-release is the safest practice. If you do eat your catch, clean any fish you catch thoroughly if you see algae blooms. Before eating, remove the internal organs, which may contain harmful algae toxins.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating and clean your boat thoroughly.

WHAT:Toxic Algae Advisories for Deep and Black LakesNo swimming, no pets, no fishing advised
WHEN:Effective Immediately
WHERE:The health advisory is in effect for all of Deep and Black Lakes

Millersylvania State Park is located at 12245 Tilley Rd SW in Olympia, 98512

Kennydell Park is located at 6745 Fairview Road SW in Olympia, 98512

Public boat launch is located at 7107 Fairview Road SW in Olympia, 98512

For more information about toxic algae blooms and other water quality information, visit the Thurston County Environmental Health web pages at www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehadm/swimming/swimming_index.html.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3