Water quality advisory issued for Lake Altoona and Lake Eau Claire

Published: Jul. 24, 2018 at 11:01 AM CDT
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Lake Altoona and Lake Eau Claire have been named in a water advisory warning from local health officials. The warning is to inform the public about algae in the water that could be dangerous for your children and pets.

Spending time at the beach is a big part of the season for many but safety is the priority as health officials issue a new advisory for Lake Altoona and Lake Eau Claire. The Eau Claire City-County health department is warning the public about a large algae bloom that could be harmful.

"It's the result of high levels of nutrients combined with environmental factors such as weather...mainly warmer water and air temperatures and large precipitation events that cause large plant and algae growth," said Matt Steinbach, Environmental Sciences Division Manager.

The health department samples each beach in Eau Claire County every week, mainly looking for bacteria but algae surveillance is also performed. If levels are elevated, advisories or closings are then issued.

Skin contact and ingestion of algae is the largest concern. "Skin contact can lead to rashes...hives and even blisters...ingestion can lead to flu like symptoms," said Steinbach. There is also concern about inhalation. Steinbach sais if a boat wee to drive through an algae bloom, toxins could be inhaled.

Officials recommend looking out for symptoms of potential exposure. If you think you or a family member or even a pet may have been exposed and you have symptoms, it’s important that you contact a doctor immediately or contact the Wisconsin poison center.

Despite the reported algae blooms, the two beaches have not been closed, however the health department says it does not recommend any kind of recreation in or around an active algae bloom.

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU)-- A water quality advisory has been issued for two local beaches due to toxic blue-green algae.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department issued the advisory for the beaches at Lake Altoona and Lake Eau Claire.

The department says the water is unsafe because of the blue-green algae bloom and recommends avoiding water activities. It says the water is especially unsafe for kids and pets.

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