County lake back to algae warning
A blue-green algae watch for Marion County Lake was upgraded to a more-serious warning Thursday, while a warning in effect for Marion Reservoir remained the same.
One or the other or both of the two bodies of water have been under algae advisories since June 1.
Warnings typically result in closing swimming beaches. Contact with both lake and reservoir water should be avoided. Visitors whose skin contacts the water should rinse with fresh water as soon as possible afterward.
Humans and pets should not drink lake or reservoir water nor eat dried algae. Fish taken remain safe to eat but only after being rinsed with fresh water and all but the filet portion is discarded. Some boaters may experience difficulty if they inhale spray, according to state health officials who issue the advisories.
When crushed or killed, blue-green algae release invisible toxins that can cause anything from mild skin irritation to potentially fatal neurological damage.
Public water supplies remain safe. Treatment plants in Marion and Hillsboro have special equipment, not always available elsewhere, that are said to neutralize algae toxins.