CHESHIRE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department Health and Human Services (MDHHS) warned the Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) of a suspected blue-green algae or a cyanobacterial bloom in Swan Lake.
Those who visit the lake in Cheshire Township are urged to avoid water related activities and keep pets from drinking from the lake where the bloom is visible until sampling for cyanotoxin testing is complete or the bloom disappears.
According to the ACHD it is impossible to determine if algae contains harmful toxins by look and in turn encourages avoiding contact with any body of water covered with algal mats.
ACHD recommends the following in the events when the Bloom is visible:
· Avoid areas with scummy water in the lake or with water that looks like spilled paint or has a green sheen to it. These scums may contains flecks, foam or clumps.
· Avoid water-related activities in areas where the bloom is visible. Individuals that have skin contact, swallow large amounts, or play in the water are susceptible to illness. Read more here [michigan.gov].
· Keep pets from drinking or playing in the lake water. Symptoms of illness from cyanotoxins often appear quicker in animals than in humans – sometimes in minutes to a few hours. Symptoms in animals can include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, staggered walking, excessive salivation, convulsions, erratic behavior, or physical distress. Dogs should be thoroughly rinsed off or bathed with fresh water after contact with water that may contain algae, even if it's not toxic algae.
More information can be found by visiting www.michigan.gov/habs [michigan.gov]
UPDATE: The ACHD has confirmed algal toxin microcystin is present in Swan Lake, stating EGLE took samples from two locations on Thursday.
Residents are advised to keep themselves as well as pets away from the water until the bloom passes.