Hot, Sunny Weather Could Cause Harmful Algal Blooms

Updated: 07/16/2013 6:21 AM By: Tim Sherno

With a string of hot and sunny days forecast for the Metro, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency warns conditions are good for harmful blue-green algae blooms.

Steve Heiskary is a Research Scientist for the M.P.C.A., he says blue-green blooms have begun to show up in southern Minnesota, and with warmer days forecast, expects to see them move into central Minnesota, "In particular we'll see that in some of our more nutrient rich lakes, shallow lakes, the ones that are going to warm up pretty quickly."

Blue green algae can cause skin irritation in people, stomach problems and headaches, but Heiskary says the water can give off a rotten egg odor that would prevent most people from swimming, according to Heiskary, "A person generally isn't going to ingest enough because of the very nature of the water."

Heiskary warns dogs are more likely to play in water with blue green algae, and are more likely to drink the water, "That can lead to some severe reactions, reactions that can effect nervous systems, and occasionally causes death in a dog."

According to Heiskary, wind will often blow a bloom to one side of a lake while the other side of the lake could be clear safe. Heiskary says it's best to avoid questionable water and prevent kids and pets from playing in it as well.