Report a Blue-Green
Not all blue-green algae produce toxins, however there is no way to tell just by looking at them.
Blooms generally have the following properties:
- Water may appear cloudy and look like thick pea soup.
- Blooms are generally green or blue-green in color, although they can be brown or purple.
- A thick mat or foam may form when a bloom washes onto shore.
Know if lake conditions are safe for use
For much of the year, Lake Champlain and our inland lakes are safe to swim in, but it is important to be aware of algae blooms. Blue-green algae blooms usually don’t occur until July, and are most common in August and September.
If the water is clear and the shoreline is free from green or brown scum, the water is probably safe to swim in. If there is a heavy greenish scum on the water or shore, it is best to avoid these areas until they are clear.
Depending on the type, amount and route of exposures, different types of health effects can be caused by cyanobacterial toxins. There are no documented cases in Vermont of human illness related to blue-green algae, however, caution around the algae is urged.
Take precautions for your pets too
- If the water has a lot of algae in it, make sure the dog drinks from another source.
- If your dog does swim in a bloom, wash the dog off when it comes out of the water; make sure the dog does not lick the algae out of its fur.
When in Doubt, Stay Out (16 sec)
Video from the Environmental Protection Agency