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8/13/2013

Algae bloom advisory for Vancouver Lake

Vancouver Lake Regional Park will remain open to the public

Contact

Alan Melnick, Health Officer
Phone: (360) 397-8412
alan.melnick@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA – Clark County Public Health and Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation are advising the public to avoid direct contact with water at Vancouver Lake due to a cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) bloom. Because blue-green algae produces toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water, public health officials are recommending:

• No swimming or wading
• No wind surfing or sail boarding
• No water contact for animals
• Precautions against contact with water while boating or fishing

“It is especially important to keep children out of the lake because they are more likely than adults to swallow some of the water,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer. Warning signs have been posted at the lake and will remain as long as there is a visible bloom. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake for cyanobacteria throughout the remainder of the summer.

Eating fish out of the lake is considered safe as long as organs like liver and kidney, where toxins can build up, are carefully removed and that people always wash hands after cleaning fish.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park will remain open to the public. Water within the restrooms and shelters is unaffected by the lake water and remains safe to drink.

Warm, sunny weather and the presence of nutrients can cause algal blooms. Nutrients that enter the water and promote algal blooms include phosphorus and nitrogen, found in fertilizers and in agricultural, human, and animal waste. For more information about algae blooms or to see photographs, visit http://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/pools/beaches.html.

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