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The Indiana State Department of Health cautions Hoosiers of possible high levels of blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, at many of Indiana's reservoirs and lakes. Swimmers and boaters should be careful in all recreational waters during this time of the year. Precautionary measures include avoiding contact with visible algae and swallowing water while swimming. Take a bath or shower with warm, soapy water after coming in contact with untreated water in ponds and lakes, especially before preparing or consuming food. Pets and livestock should also not be allowed to swim in or drink untreated water from these sources. Exposure to a blue-green algae during recreational activities such as swimming, wading, and water-skiing may lead to rashes, skin, eye irritation, and other uncomfortable effects such as nausea, stomach aches, and tingling in fingers and toes. If you should experience any symptoms after water recreational activities, please contact your doctor.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) began cyanobacteria sampling the week of June 20th. The swimming beaches at the following DNR and U.S. Forest Service managed areas will be sampled monthly, unless cell counts exceed 100,000 cells per milliliter (cells/ml), at which point the swimming beaches in exceedance will be resampled on a biweekly basis until the counts fall below 100,000 cells/ml:
For protection of human health from cyanobacteria, the World Health Organization uses a guideline level of greater than 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin toxin levels of 20 parts per billion (ppb) for a high risk health alert in recreational waters. In Indiana, IDEM uses 6 ppb of microcystin toxin as a warning level. Exact cell counts and microcystin levels can be found in the Test Results section of the web site. For more information on Blue-Green algae, please contact the Indiana Blue-Green Algae Information Line at (877) 650-0033 (Toll Free) or (317) 233-7181.
The swimming beaches at the following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts above 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:
The swimming beaches at the following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts below 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:
The following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts above 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:
The following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts below 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:
Grace College samples 44 lakes in Kosciusko County monthly. These samples are analyzed by CEES for the microcystin toxin and some lakes for cyanobacteria cell counts. Because of the large number of lakes, lakes will only be listed if toxin levels in samples are greater than 6ppb or cyanobacteria cell counts exceed 100,000 cells/ml. For a complete listing of lakes, please see Test Results. For more information about the Kosciusko County lakes, please contact Bruce Hammer, Environmental Scientist with the Kosciusko County Health Department at (574) 372-2349.