The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is warning boaters and swimmers of harmful algae bloom in a popular Capital Region lake.

Where is This Algae Bloom & What Causes it?

Algae blooms have been reported in Saratoga Lake since 2013 and sometimes the blooms are more frequent but they are difficult to predict.

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Although algae blooms are common in the lake environment, harmful algae blooms could be detrimental to the lake, humans, and animals. Algae bloom occurs when the lake gets hot and humid. When summers are hotter and the fall season is typically warmer. Harmful algae bloom occurs from the runoff from nearby properties, fertilizer, and when there are excess nutrients in the water according to the Daily Gazette.

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How Do the Harmful Algae Blooms Affect the Environment?

The harmful algae can cause illness to humans and animals. They can clog the gills of fish, kill vegetation, and remove the oxygen in the water which could contaminate the drinking water in the area. The algae can be deadly to pets and small animals. Humans can become ill from the toxins if ingested. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, skin, and eye irritation, diarrhea, and possible difficulty breathing. If you think you have been exposed the best thing to do is rinse off with clean water.

What Can We Do To Prevent the Harmful Algae Bloom?

Cristina Connolly who is the Saratoga Lake district administrator said,

What we are trying to advise residents around the lake is to avoid fertilizers near the water. Plant vegetative buffers on your property abutting the lake so that when it does rain all the nutrients from your lawn don’t run off into the lake and measures of that sort.

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