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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Art Starry, Environmental Health Division, (360) 867-2587 or

Two Thurston Lake Advisories Continue, Algae Spotted in Third Lake

Stubborn algae blooms continue to cloud areas of Black Lake and Clear Lake, and algae recently appeared at Long Lake in Lacey. While recent water samples from all three lakes show only low levels of algae toxin or no trace of the toxin at all, county health officials still urge people and pets to stay away from water where they see algae.

"All of our recent samples show the algae toxin levels in the water at all three lakes are well below the state standard for recreation water use, but the toxin can be more concentrated where the algae scum is thick, so we're keeping our signs posted for now and reminding people to stay away from areas where they see algae blooms," said Art Starry, Director of the county's Environmental Health Division.

County health officials will continue to monitor the lakes until the algae blooms clear.

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. Following these simple tips can help prevent illness from algae:
  • 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 a build-up of harmful algae toxins.

  • Avoid swimming, wading, wind surfing and water-skiing in waters where algae blooms are present.

  • Don't drink untreated lake water or surface water.

  • Keep pets and livestock out of waters with algae blooms.

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