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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 7, 2012
Art Starry, Environmental Health Division, 360-867-2587

Water Quality Improves, Swimming Advisory Lifted for Black Lake

Water samples from Black Lake show algae toxin levels that have dropped below the state's water quality threshold, which means swimmers, boaters and waterskiers can enjoy the warm weather expected this weekend with a dip in Black Lake. County health officials have lifted the swimming advisory for Black Lake posted on August 28 when algae toxins above the state standard levels were first detected.

While swimmers can once again enjoy Black Lake, county health officials remind people to stay safe by avoiding the areas of lakes, rivers and other water bodies with algae blooms.

A few simple tips can 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.

  • Avoid areas of scum when boating and clean your boat thoroughly.

  • Clean any fish you catch thoroughly. Before eating, remove the internal organs, which may contain harmful algae toxins.

Staff from the county's Environmental Health Division will continue to monitor water quality at Black Lake and other lakes in the county and take samples to test for algae toxins and other pollutants. The public can contact the Thurston County Environmental Health Division office at (360) 867-2626 with questions about water quality at area lakes or to report water quality issues.

The latest water quality tests for Ward Lake in Olympia still show high levels of fecal coliform bacteria, and "No Swimming" warnings are still in effect until water quality improves.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3