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Blue green algae in Conesus Lake may limit holiday weekend activities

Created: 08/29/2014 6:07 PM WHEC.com

People heading to Conesus Lake should be warned that persistent algae blooms may limit their holiday weekend activities.

Some folks are already flocking to the water for this weekend, but in Livingston County there are constant warning signs that prohibit swimming.

“We have a blue green algae outbreak. We typically have two or three of these a year,” said Mark Grovanz, director of Environmental Health for Livingston County.

Grovanz inspects the area lakes on a regular basis. He says it’s a combination of factors that cause the algae in the lake: warmer temperatures, less wind and fertilizer draining into it.

“It’s hazardous. Some of the immediate effects can cause skin irritation. It has more chronic, acute and long-term effects. It can affect your liver and nervous system. That’s with extreme exposure,” said Grovanz.

“If I see a noticeable color change, I’m not going in that area,” said Joe Cerretto, a Spencerport boater.

The algae looks like pea green soup, or green paint, and it’s hard to miss, but not everyone is staying out of the water.

“The water isn’t that warm. I would say the algae happened early. I thought we had escaped it this year,” said Randal Berrett.

Berrett lives on the lake and tries to get on the water as much as possible. He’s a fourth generation resident along the lakes’ north end and says he’s seen the water quality on the lake change over the years.

“As a kid I could jump in the lake and drink it. Now, I’m less inclined to think that’s a good idea,” said Berrett.

And as far as this weekend, health officials discourage getting into the water. They say let nature take its course.

“These blue green algae forms can go away as quickly as they form. Typically windy conditions can break those up. Typically we have to ride it out, and let it go away on its own,” said Grovanz.





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