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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 11, 2019
Media Contact: Gabrielle Byrne, Public Health, Public Information Specialist, 360-867-2514, or email byrneg@co.thurston.wa.us  
Residents Contact: Thurston County Water Quality Program, 360-867-2645, or email sarah.ashworth@co.thurston.wa.us   

Toxic Algae Health Warning in Effect for Summit Lake
Toxin levels are above the threshold for health concern

​OLYMPIA – Summit Lake has a toxic algae bloom. Lab results received today show that the algae bloom is producing unsafe levels of anatoxin-a. Reports show toxin levels at the sample site are 18 micrograms per liter. The state advisory level for anatoxin-a is 1 microgram per liter. Anatoxin-a is a potent neurotoxin that is fast- acting and can cause serious illness or death.

Many residents of the Summit Lake community get their drinking water from the lake. Thurston County Public Health and Social Services recommends that residents do not drink the lake water. Filtration, boiling, and other water treatment methods do not remove or deactivate anatoxin-a. Public Health advises residents and the public that if their source of water comes from the lake, they should not consume the water, or use it to:

  • Mix formula or other food/drink
  • Rinse food or do dishes
  • Brush teeth, or bathe

 In addition, Public Health recommends that people:

  • Do not swim or water ski in the lake
  • Keep pets out of the lake and do not let them drink lake water
  • Should not eat fish that come from the lake during an algae bloom

The health warning for Summit Lake will remain in place until samples are within safe levels for two consecutive weeks. Testing will continue until the health warning is lifted.

The sample collected by Thurston County Public Health and Social Services staff on Monday, April 8, 2019 is above the advisory limit for anatoxin-a. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife boat launch is still closed for the winter.

For more information on Summit Lake, visit the Summit Lake Toxic Algae website. For more information about blue-green algae, frequently asked questions, and the county lakes program, visit the county's Blue-Green Algae Advisories website. You can sign up to receive email algae alerts on the website or by calling 360-867-2645.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3