State advises public to avoid algal bloom near Bay Tree Lake in Bladen Co.

State advises public to avoid algal bloom near Bay Tree Lake in Bladen Co.
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 5:15 PM EST
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BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources on Nov. 15 advised the public to avoid touching green or blue water in a canal near Bay Tree Lake in Bladen County.

The DWR says it is due to an algal bloom that has been in the eastern end of the canal between Bay Tree Lake and Horsepen Bay since Oct. 27. Since the blooms tend to move because of wind and waves, an investigation by staff found that the bloom was concentrated at the end of the canal by wind.

“Based on testing of samples collected from this concentrated area, DWR determined the bloom is dominated by Microcystis, a single-celled organism that belongs to the algal group cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria blooms usually appear bright green, but when a bloom starts to decay, the color can change to a milky blue. Decaying algae may produce a strong, foul odor that can impact a large area,” a DWR announcement states.

Microcystis can cause an algal toxin called microcystin, which can cause negative health effects in people and pets. However, the state doesn’t have any reports of adverse health effects in people in connection to this bloom.

“An analytical test detected microcystin in this bloom at 1,700 parts per billion, exceeding public health advisory levels. Results have been reported on DWR’s Algal Bloom Dashboard.” the DWR announcement continues