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Swimmers And Boaters Warned Of Harmful Algae

Last updated on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(UNDATED) - Swimmers and boaters beware: the hot, stagnant weather is leading to an increase in potentially harmful blue-green algae at many Indiana reservoirs and lakes.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management samples several beaches each summer to determine if levels exceed health guidelines established by the World Health Organization.

Those results are posted on www.algae.in.gov.

Currently, nine bodies of water carry a "high risk health alert," including Geist, Morse and Patoka reservoirs. IDEM Spokeswoman Amber Finklestein has advice to help keep water recreationists from getting sick.

She says swimmers should avoid disturbing the algae.

It's also important to wash off after you get out of the water.

Blue-green algae multiply quickly in water bodies with high nutrient levels such as phosphorous or nitrogen, and particularly when the water is warm and the weather is calm. In extremely rare cases, toxin-producing blue-green algae have resulted in the sickness or death of some other animals, including livestock and dogs.

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