Blue green algae shuts down two public swimming areas on Conesus Lake

Updated: 07/23/2014 7:24 PM
Created: 07/23/2014 6:13 PM WHEC.com
By: Josh Nichols

People who live along Conesus Lake will have to find another place to go swimming. Blue green algae have shut down two public swimming areas.

For the time being, swimming is not allowed at Vitale Park or Long Point Park. 

Conesus Lake is a popular destination in the summer for swimming and fishing. And while taking a dip in the water on a warm summer day seems inviting, what is not so inviting is the natural, but toxic algae that is waiting on the water's surface. Not only is it not inviting, it is downright dangerous.

Mark Grovanz, Director of Environmental Health, Livingston County, said, "It can have some long term health effects, but more initially, you get skin irritation as a result of it. It's not just people; you really need to keep pets out of the water as well."

Vitale and Long Point Parks lie on the north side of Conesus Lake. Because of the prevailing wind, the blue green algae, when it blooms, have a tendency to collect right where people swim and fish. When there are algae. The county closes the lake to swimmers. That's because exposure to this bacteria can mean serious health consequences.

Grovanz said, "A lot of the people around the lake are familiar with these occurrences so they have reported to us. Other times we have staff that is out regularly monitoring the lake and doing these inspections. So we're looking for it as well. We just want people to be aware of it. It is an occurrence, it happens."

It's something that adults and kids alike would rather not see.

Kyra Sweet said, "I'm sad because we can't go swimming and I’ve lived here for two years and it is pretty fun living here.”

This is not the first year blue green algae has bloomed on Conesus Lake. In fact, blue green algae have had an impact on many inland lakes this summer. Although it is a problem for now, closing the beaches to swimmers, the algae should break up and dissipate with time allowing people in the very near future to enjoy the waters of this western most Finger Lake once more. 

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