WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The city of Wilmington is warning of an ongoing blue-green algae bloom at Greenfield Lake.
In a Facebook post, city officials say the bloom was tested by UNCW researchers who found three different species of microsystis — a genius of freshwater cyanobacteria that produce the harmful algae blooms.
These blooms usually form during the spring and summer months in warm bodies of water that have high nutrient loads, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and receive pollution from stormwater runoff.
“Swimming in it can cause irritation such as skin rashes, burns, and blistering of the mouth. Ingestion or inhalation of water containing dense bloom material may cause vomiting, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, pneumonia, and fever,” the post stated.
While no deaths from these blooms have been reported in humans, contact with the toxins produced by the blooms are known to be fatal in dogs, wildlife, and livestock.
The city is currently designing caution signs which will be installed in key access locations at the lake.
“We are also working with UNCW and NC State University on research and pilot projects. We also have other watershed planning activities and stormwater treatment retrofits in the works to reduce the nutrient loads into Greenfield Lake. Additionally, Stormwater Services is working on a more comprehensive plan to address high nutrient loading into the lake. This will take some time, but it is under initial development,” the post stated.
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