The county Health Department has issued a warning not to swim in or drink water from Lake Erie because of an algae toxin.
A water sample taken from Lake Erie on Monday, Aug. 3, has shown significant levels of the blue green algae toxin microcystin, prompting a warning including no swimming, or drinking of lake water.
A preliminary result from the King County Environmental Lab was 205 micrograms per liter of microcystin toxin present in the water sample taken from the public boat launch on August 3. According to the Washington State Department of Health the level of public health concern for microcystin is 6 micrograms per liter.
Microcystin is a chronic liver toxin and long term exposure is a concern. The toxin will be highest within areas of scum and intense color in the water. Short term exposure is not expected to cause immediate health impacts but until follow up samples show the toxin has cleared please follow the warning notice for Lake Erie:
- Do not swim or water ski
- Do not drink lake water
- Keep pets and stock away
- Clean fish well and discard guts
- Avoid areas of scum while boating