Blue Marsh Lake updates Harmful Algae Bloom Status

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District is updating the harmful algal bloom status at Blue Marsh Lake from a Warning Status down to a Harmful Algal Bloom Advisory Status.

The update in status does not eliminate the risks associated with harmful algae. Visitors should be aware of the presence of moderate levels of blue-green algae in the lake and the potential for harmful toxins to be present. Visitors are advised to be alert for harmful algal bloom conditions and to avoid contact with discolored water or scum.

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Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms found naturally in all types of water. In warm, nutrient-rich environments, cyanobacteria can multiply quickly, creating blooms that spread across the water’s surface. These blooms can create toxins that are harmful to humans and pets.

Algal blooms at Blue Marsh Lake occur annually, however environmental and lake conditions from August through October enable the algal blooms to become potentially harmful.

Over the past few months, USACE has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to conduct sampling and testing at different locations at Blue Marsh Lake. Test results from the lake have indicated high to moderate levels of blue-green algae and the presence of the harmful toxins produced by these algal blooms. Test results from the outflow of the dam indicated no detection of harmful toxins to be present in the immediate area downstream of the lake.

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To protect yourself, your family, and your pets from blue-green algae blooms:

Avoid water contact in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water’s surface
Children and pets are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of the toxins produced by blue-green algae. Do not allow children or pets to play in or drink scummy water.

If you have contact with water that might contain harmful cyanobacteria, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible afterwards.

For additional information, contact the Park Office at 610-376-6337.

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