71.3 F
The Villages
Friday, September 24, 2021

Protect yourself and your pets from algae and cyanobacteria

Harmful algae and cyanobacteria (sometimes called blue-green algae) can produce toxins (poisons) that can make people and animals sick and affect the environment. Do all you can to protect yourself and your pets.

Algae and cyanobacteria are simple, plant-like organisms that live in the water. Algae and cyanobacteria can rapidly grow out of control, or “bloom,” when water is warm, slow-moving, and full of nutrients. Blooms can occur in fresh water, salt water, and brackish (a mixture of fresh and salt) water around the world. Blooms sometimes look like foam, scum, mats, or paint on the surface of the water. They can even make the water appear different colors, including green, blue, red, brown, or another color.

This past May, an alert was issued for the presence of blue-green algae at Lake Weir.

Blooms of algae or cyanobacteria can be harmful to people, animals, or the environment if they

  • produce toxins (poisons)
  • become too dense
  • use up the oxygen in the water or
  • release harmful gases

Blooms can occur more often or become more severe with warmer water temperatures or if the amount of nutrients in the water increases. Levels of nutrients increase when fertilizer, sewage or runoff get into the water.

Animals can get very sick or even die quickly after exposure to harmful algae and cyanobacteria. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets or livestock seem sick after going in or near water. Animals can die within hours to days of swallowing toxins. Animals are often the first affected, in part because they are more likely to swim in or drink from bodies of water that contain harmful algae or cyanobacteria.

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

Headlines
The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

It has never been more important for the United States to lead

A loyal reader from Wisconsin writes in a Letter to the Editor that it has never been more important for the United States to lead.

Stop train track tragedies in Florida

A volunteer with Florida Operation Lifesaver urges his fellow Floridians to make safe choices around railroad tracks and trains.

Villagers should stay in The Villages and out of our towns

An Oxford woman, in a Letter to the Editor, responds to a Villager who recently said he’s frustrated by the number of “outsiders” in The Villages.

Misinformation about COVID-19 a one-way ticket to illness or death

A Village of Dunedin resident, in a Letter to the Editor, warns that misinformation about COVID-19 could be a one-way ticket to illness or death.

Remembering scenes from the Trump presidency

One of our loyal readers looks back on some memorable moments of the Trump presidency. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Photos
The Villages, Florida