The DEQ is reminding the public to avoid discolored water following early Spring algae bloom reports

The DEQ is reminding the public to avoid discolored water following early Spring algae bloom reports
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 8:45 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is reminding the public to avoid contact with discolored water after reports of early spring algae blooms. Certain algae can create toxins that lead to adverse health effects in humans, pets, and aquatic organisms.

“We’re always aware of it,” says Pitt County dog owner, Nicholas Corsaro.

Bacteria in the algae can not only be harmful to people but also to animals.

“Cyanobacteria, they produce the toxins that can affect liver and cause liver disease, liver failure. The neurotoxins, they usually cause fatal disease, meaning the dog can go in and out of a contaminated body of water and by the time they get out, you already start noticing signs such as seizures, convulsions, and they usually don’t even make it to the vet,” says East Carolina Veterinary Service owner and vet, Fernanda Godfrey.

Godfrey also says it’s best to know the signs to look for.

“It’s almost like someone has spilled paint in the water. It’s not that thick material that you can grab with your hands.”

While taking the DEQ’s advice of just staying out even when it doubt.

Godfrey says, “If you see a body of water that has a pea soup appearance, that’s what we recommend staying away from.”

“We have a yellow lab at home and loves to swim so we can’t keep them out of the water so if we took them to an area that we knew the algae bloom would be then we probably wouldn’t even walk them in that area and just stay inland,” Corsaro also told WITN.

According to the DEQ, the first algae bloom was reported in Bond Park Lake in Cary. The second was in a pond at Darrell Almond Community Park in Norwood. The DEQ also says the bloom appears to be dying off due to the recent rain.

The public can always find the latest information on blooms on the dashboard as well.