Residents near Chowan River concerned about algae bloom

CHOWAN COUNTY, NC (WITN) Residents in Chowan County who live near Arrowhead Beach say they're concerned about the algae bloom in the water as state health officials tell them to keep themselves, kids and pets away.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says the public should not go in the Chowan River if they live in or near Arrowhead Beach. An algae bloom in the water is producing a toxin that could affect their health.

Officials are now saying that the algae in the water does pose a high risk to people playing or swimming in the water.

Gary Williams, Arrowhead Beach resident says, "Now with this algae, it is terrible. It is terrible. I mean they say don't swim, they say don't go in there and we don't right now and we used to spend all of our time down there."

Officials say people should avoid touching the algae or water and cooking or eating fish in those waters.

Williams says, "They say don't eat the fish that you catch in there and we've caught tons of them out there and we just don't do it anymore."

The Department of Environmental Health Quality has been monitoring the bloom near Arrowhead Beach and will continue to do so. As of now there have been no reports of people who have had adverse health effects from the bloom.

Environmental experts say that algae blooms likely result from a combination of environmental factors including available nutrients, temperature, sunlight. ecosystem disturbance and hydrology.