Earlier this week, the Oakland County Health Division issued a public health advisory targeting two Oakland County lakes because of their possibly being affected by HABs or harmful algal blooms. These could have started growing in the respective lakes because of the recent weather conditions.
County officials also put out warnings to visitors and residents about this danger potentially lurking in the lakes.
Oakland County Lakes With ‘Scummy’ Waters to be Avoided
The HABs issue was first identified by MDEQ officials or the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. They spotted the potentially harmful algal blooms in the Waterford and White township’s Pontiac Lake and on the Sugden Lake of the White Lake township.
“If you see algae, avoid direct contact with it and keep pets away as well. Although algae are a natural presence in waterways, special precautions need to be followed to prevent illness,” stated Leigh-Annes Stafford.
She is an Oakland County Health Division health officer. Officials announced that they would be posting caution signs around both these lakes. However, people should be cautious even of lakes that don’t have a posted advisory but have scummy waters.
Such scum might contain clumps, foam, and flecks. It usually has a green sheen and sometimes looks like spilled paint. HABs can be dangerous for both people, pets, and the aquatic life itself.
People are urged not to swim in HABs infested waters. They are also strictly prohibited from drinking such waters or letting their pets consume it either. In general, people should not drink untreated surface water, even if it is blooms-free. It is also unwise to consume mussels or other marine animals coming from affected areas.
Oakland County Health officials point out that the symptoms of having come into contact with HABs include rashes and not only. Skin blisters, as well as hives, can also appear on the skin. Some might develop asthma-like symptoms or allergic reactions, or even sore throats and runny noses, among many others.
Those exposed should seek medical attention. The same holds true for possibly affected pets, as these should be taken to a veterinary and treated as soon as possible.
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