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Published July 20, 2012, 08:41 PM

Blue-Green Algae warning for lake users in the area

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) -- Hot, dry conditions are prompting pollution control agencies to issue a warning: watch out for Blue-Green Algae.

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) -- Hot, dry conditions are prompting pollution control agencies to issue a warning: watch out for Blue-Green Algae.

The Minnesota Pollution Control has already received several reports of the algae in the southern half of the state and is now cautioning lake users in our area.

Not only does it look filthy, it can be extremely dangerous. Blue Green Algae has been known to cause skin irritation, respiratory problems and even death in animals that drink the infected water.

Dan Olson: "Every once in a while you are going to get a situation where you have a type of algae that releases toxins."

Dan Olson with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the algae usually sprouts close to the shoreline in shallow waters.

Olson: They're often described as looking like pea soup or really dark green, also blue green and sometimes it has the consistency of paint.

Pollution control says algae like this is found on every lake and is in fact harmless, but with these year's unseasonably warm weather conditions, every boater and lake cabin owner needs to be on the lookout for blue-green algae.

Barry Schoder: "Cleaner the water the happier the camper."

Like most lake owners, Barry Schoder knows healthy water quality is essential for quality recreation.

Schoder: "We can enjoy using the beach without any side effects."

Unfortunately there is no treatment for blue-green algae. If you think you've come across some, the advice is simple. Report it and get away.

Olson: "If it looks bad and smells bad, stay out of it."

Pollution Control says the algae can appear in only a matter of days and disappear just as quickly.

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