NC officials warn of possible algal blooms that may produce harmful toxins

North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA (WAVY) — Algal bloom season begins just as the summer season starts and with that, N.C. Division of Water Resources is urging the public to avoid contact with green or blue water — especially in Albemarle Sound and Chowan County.

Reports show discolored water in Edenton, Rocky Hock, and Elizabeth City and DWR staff are monitoring the blooms. Samples have been sent to the Water Sciences Section for analysis.

Some forms of cyanobacteria, or bluegreen algae, can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. With the blooms becoming more common in the area over the past few years, state health officials encourage the public to avoid areas showing signs of an algae bloom.

Algal blooms fluctuate based upon weather conditions and may collect in coves and along shorelines.

State water quality and health officials recommend the following precautions to avoid the harmful effects of certain algae:

  • Do not allow children or pets in or near water that appears bright green, blue, discolored or has visible surface film or scum. Anyone exposed should be washed with soap and clean water, including pets.
  • If your child becomes ill after being in water where an algal bloom is occurring, seek medical care immediately. If your pet begins to stumble, stagger or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Do not handle or touch large mats of algae and avoid handling, cooking or eating fish from waters with blooms.

To report a potential algal bloom contact the local DWR regional offices. For more information on potential health effects visit N.C. Division of Public Health’s website.

To learn more about algal blooms in North Carolina, visit Division of Water Resources.  

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