Creepy toxic algae blooms spotted again in Charlotte area lake cove, officials warn

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Toxic blue-green algae continues to bloom in a Lake Wylie cove, Mecklenburg County officials warned boaters and pet owners on Thursday.

On Monday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services workers spotted active blooms at several sites in Boyd’s Cove and a smaller outbreak off Saranita Lane in Snug Harbor Cove, near the S.C. line, according to a Mecklenburg County news release Thursday.

Blooms of the creepy cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, have been reported in Boyds Cove since early August, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

Workers detected the blooms after a citizen’s tip, officials said.

The discovery prompted a warning by the Mecklenburg County Health Department to keep children and pets “from water that appears bright green, blue, discolored or scummy.”

This map shows where blue-green algae blooms were spotted on Lake Wylie on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.
This map shows where blue-green algae blooms were spotted on Lake Wylie on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.

Avoid touching or holding large algae mats, officials said. And never touch, cook or eat dead fish found near the algae, the county warned.

Don’t touch this

If you do touch any of the bloom, thoroughly wash your hands with clean water. Rinse off pets that contacted the algae with clean water, too.

Seek immediate medical attention if your child was in the water and falls ill, county officials said. Watch for such symptoms in your child as “loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, itchy skin or rash,” according to the county post.

This is an example of a pond covered in the toxic blue-green algae in Charlotte. Toxic blue-green algae continues to bloom in a Lake Wylie cove, Mecklenburg County officials warned boaters and pet owners on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2012.
This is an example of a pond covered in the toxic blue-green algae in Charlotte. Toxic blue-green algae continues to bloom in a Lake Wylie cove, Mecklenburg County officials warned boaters and pet owners on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2012.

Cyanobacteria colors

Algae blooms occur naturally in lakes and ponds, officials said.

Cyanobacteria blooms are typically bright green or yellow. As the blooms begin to decay, they turn milky blue and smell bad.

On Thursday, officials said they will look for the algae and alert the public until no active cyanobacteria blooms are sighted for two straight weeks.

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