An update on Friday, June 7 from the Pike County General Health District stated that satellite imagery from June 1 shows trace amounts of cyanobacteria present in Lake White.
The health district stated that this may or may not mean that cyanotoxins are present.
According to the Pike health district, harmful algal blooms (HAB's) are caused by cyanobacteria (sometimes called blue-green algae) that are bacteria that are naturally found in Ohio lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams.
The Pike health district stated on May 29 that they had been notified by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) of possible harmful algal blooms (HAB’s) in Lake White.
The health district reports that the most common ways to come into contact with HABs are:
Drinking/Swallowing – Drinking HABs-contaminated water from a public water system during a drinking water advisory or the incidental/accidental swallowing of contaminated water such as during water-related recreational activities.
Skin Contact – Swimming, skiing, tubing and other recreational activities in HABs-contaminated waters.
Inhaling – Breathing aerosolized water droplets (misting) of HABs-contaminated water from recreational activities such as jet-skiing or power boating.
Link to information from ODH: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/harmful-algal-blooms/welcome-to-habs
Link to the general HAB’s fact sheet: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/3c118cc7-e30c-4e58-a763-1f92f1ab5fb1/ODH-HABs-General-Fact-Sheet.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_M1HGGIK0N0JO00QO9DDDDM3000-3c118cc7-e30c-4e58-a763-1f92f1ab5fb1-ml3qSgW
Link to info from EPA: http://epa.ohio.gov/HAB-Algae
Link to info from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/features/harmful-algal-blooms/index.html
On May 31, the Pike County General Health District also provided the News Watchman with the following online information and the sources of information:
• “If toxins have been detected in one part of the lake, is the water in the whole lake unsafe?
“Blooms are generally limited by water currents, winds and where nutrients enter the water. Toxin can persist in the water for more than 30 days, but is rapidly diluted and quickly reaches safe levels when the bloom dissipates and as one moves away from the bloom.”
• “How can you protect yourself, your family, and your pets from exposure to HABs?
“Don’t swim, water ski, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
“If you do swim in water that might have a HAB, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible.
“Don’t let pets or livestock swim in or drink from areas where the water is discolored or where you can see foam, scum, or mats of algae in the water.
“If pets (especially dogs) swim in scummy water, rinse them off immediately — do not let them lick the algae (and toxins) off their fur.
“Don’t irrigate lawns or golf courses with pond water that looks scummy or smells bad.
“Report any musty smell or taste in your drinking water to your local water utility.
“Respect any water body closures announced by local public health authorities.”