Algae bloom alert issued for Orange County lake

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — There’s a health alert in effect for an Orange County lake after the presence of a harmful toxin was detected on April 6.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County said harmful blue-green algal toxins were found in Lake Mann by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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Health officials said blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments, and that a bloom occurs when the rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.

Officials said the blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

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The public is asked to use caution in and around the lake until the alert is cleared.

Here are some more safety tips from the health department:

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  • Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
  • Keep pets away from the area. Waters with algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.