What is causing the
A rainy spring and soggy early summer, followed by a sunny and hot summer is a perfect recipe for the formation of blue green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. Federal agencies have been warning us for months that the US is experiencing a perfect storm of conditions that can lead to the formation of unsightly, malodorous, and sometimes toxic blooms. Most of the warnings involved Lake Erie and south Florida, but many inland lakes throughout the US have also been or will soon be afflicted with the same problem. Algae blooms can “come and go” unpredictably; however, the current weather would seem to suggest that the current blooms may be more persistent.
More accurately referred to as cyanobacteria, these algae are capable of secreting toxins that will sicken animals and humans. Canine fatalities have been reported throughout the US and the public is becoming more and more aware of the health concerns around harmful algal blooms.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY WATER HAS TOXIC ALGAE?
Confused? It's true that obvious algae blooms are not always toxin producing, but the only way to determine if toxins are present is to analyze the water for more than a dozen possible compounds. That takes time, and the toxins may be absent one day, and present the next. The best thing to do is to stay out of the water where there is visible green water and do not let pets swim in or drink the water.
There are effective treatments for cyanobacteria blooms and even though the results can be long-lasting, they are typically more ephemeral. Depending on weather conditions and time of the year, several treatments may be required to keep cyanobacteria at an acceptable level. Targeted controls are the best control solution when specific algaecides are delivered to the areas of the lake that serve as the genesis of noxious bloom conditions.
Our team of experts can help to develop combinations of products to suppress harmful algae blooms and promote diverse plankton communities as a part of a well-conceived lake management plan.
Decrease the likelihood of blooms and address the underlying ecological mechanisms that can cause blooms in the first place. It is fundamentally important to make a lake more resilient to bloom conditions and this premise must be central to the lake management plan.
A balanced and stable ecosystem is more resilient to not only cyanobacteria blooms, but also blooms of invasive, weedy vegetation. A vibrant and diverse plant community can cover the lake bottom and impede the development of blooms that originate from the lake sediments. Only a very small number of plants cause nearly all of the nuisance weed conditions in a lake. There are many desirable aquatic plant species that should be supported to increase bottom cover and make lakes more ecologically stable.
And as always, it is also critical that surface waters that are not already infested with exotic and invasive species which include the noxious filter-feeding exotic mussels, be protected from infection and invasion.