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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Environmental Health Specialist, Senior,  (360) 867-2643, or email at venninj@co.thurston.wa.us

High Levels of Toxic Algae Found at Summit Lake
Residents advised not to drink, or use, water

Olympia - Summit Lake has a toxic algae bloom. The bloom is producing high levels of the toxin Anatoxin-a, a neurotoxin. Thurston County Environmental Health staff took algae samples last week and received the positive test results today. Preliminary results indicate extremely high levels of toxic algae. Current levels are at 354 micrograms per liter, while just 1microgram per liter is reason for health concern. Some area residents use lake water as their potable water source. 

Until further notice, Public Health is advising Summit Lake residents and users that when there is an algae bloom present, precautions should be taken to avoid the health risks posed by potential toxins.

  • Do not drink water taken from the lake until laboratory tests show the water is safe. Disinfection, boiling, and treatment systems do not remove or deactivate algae toxin. 
  • Residents should find a temporary alternative source of safe drinking water. 
  • Do not shower in water taken from the lake until laboratory tests show the water is safe. 
  • Avoid contact with lake water.
  • Keep pets and children out of the water.  
  • Do not fish or swim in the lake. 
Public Health will continue to monitor the situation, and will take more lake samples in the next week. They will continue to update residents. They ask that residents share information with their neighbors and get the word out. More information about toxic algae is available here.

Residents and lake users can contact Jane Mountjoy-Venning (360-867-2643), venninj@co.thurston.wa.us with questions. 


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3