Algae Is Taking Over Some Local Lakes, Learn How You Can Stay Healthy

By Laura Donaldson

July 2, 2010 Updated Nov 12, 2013 at 7:23 AM EDT

CELINA, Ohio (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Pea soup. That's what residents are calling one area lake.

The Grand Lake Saint Mary’s in Celina, Ohio has been taken over by blue green algae.

But local parks and health department officials say it’s safe to visit the lake this Fourth of July weekend.

One resident says in more than 60-years of living by the lake, she's never seen an algae problem like this.

A parks department official says the blue green algae have invaded this lake in more than 30-years. He says the algae bloomed quickly more than two weeks ago when heavy rains and high temperatures hit the area.

Officials say the lake is recovering. But boaters aren’t pleased the green gunk.

“It's terrible,” Portland resident Steve Szilagyi said. Szilagyi visits the lake during the summer weekends. “I've boated out here for about five years now. And it's always been nice, clean, and you get the dry season it gets a little stagnant here and there but nothing like this. It's disgusting. The water out there is like pea soup. It stinks. It's nasty. This is our first time out and we probably won't come back here until it's clean.”

Because of the negative reactions area residents say the local economy is declining.

Health officials say you can still go boating or jet skiing at The Grand Lake, but there are three types of toxins in the water. So you can't swim or go tubing.

Other area lakes are having problems too so Department of Health officials offer these safety tips.

Do not swim when you have diarrhea.

Do not swallow water.

Look for trash and other signs of pollution in the water because these kinds of pollutants may
indicate the presence of disease-causing microorganisms.

Look for storm drains along beaches and don't swim near them.

Practice good hygiene.

Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

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