I wanted to let you know of the follow-up on the cyanobacteria bloom that was observed on 7/15/19 near the Essex Marina (see photo above courtesy of Tina Gardner). Both the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) and Essex Water & Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Tina Gardner (a former LCC cyano. monitor) reported the bloom to New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and the town supervisor. The water intake structure extends 260 feet into the lake and is 45 feet deep. While the bloom didn’t appear to be near the water intake structure NYS DOH will be collecting a precautionary raw water sample at the water plant and sending it to Wadsworth Laboratory for analysis.
With temperatures on the rise, cyanobacteria blooms may show up or persist in other areas along the shoreline. It’s impossible to tell whether a bloom is producing cyanotoxins by looking at it so it’s important to exercise caution and avoid contact with any suspicious looking water. Be sure to keep both people and pets away. If you have any contact with blooms, rinse off thoroughly with clean water right away. Click here for further information on cyanobacteria.
If you are not on a public water supply system and take your water from the lake regardless of whether or not there is a bloom, never drink, prepare food, or make ice with untreated surface water. Don’t use it for washing if it looks cloudy. During a bloom, don’t drink, prepare food, make ice, brush your teeth, wash dishes or shower with surface water even if you treat it yourself. Do not boil the water as it will not remove cyanobacteria toxins; and if they are present boiling can release them into the air. Here’s more information on surface water intakes.
LCC will host a public information about cyanobacteria in the near future and will keep you posted on the date and location. In the interim, if you’re not signed up for our weekly reports on cyanobacteria you can subscribe here.