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Environment

Blue-green Algae Advisory For Tenmile Lakes In Coos County

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Coos County
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The Oregon Health Authority has issued an advisory due to high levels of blue-green algae in Tenmile Lakes south of Reedsport. The toxins in the water can be harmful to humans and animals.

David Farrer is a toxicologist with the Oregon Health Authority.
He says people, especially children and pets, should avoid any contact with the water of Tenmile Lakes. Farrer says the blue-green algae produces the same toxin that led authorities in Toledo, Ohio to place a municipal ban on drinking water last month.

Farrer: "That could happen anywhere. Blue-green algae, they grow where there's sunlight and warm temperatures and still water. It's of most concern for public water systems that use surface water as their source. So, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, as opposed to groundwater. So, wells would not be susceptible to cyanobacteria."

Farrer says folks in with the Oregon Health Authority are talking with people from Ohio and elsewhere about how to prepare for and handle algae outbreaks in drinking water sources. Exposure to blue-green algae can cause numbness, tingling, dizziness and requires immediate medical attention.  It cannot be removed by filtering or boiling.