The Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found a hazardous blue-green algae bloom in the Allegheny Reservoir.
The New York State Department of Health first reported the suspected algae growth last month. Water tests, according to the Corps of Engineers, have determined that the bloom could be harmful to humans and pets should they come into contact with the algae.
In a press release, the Corps said, "Children and pets are the most susceptible to the effects of blue-green algae. Visitors are encouraged to avoid areas where the algae is present."
algae found in reservoir
The algae was found in the New York portion of the reservoir in Quaker Bay near the Friends boat launch ramp, and also in a one-mile stretch of the reservoir directly downstream of the bay.
"The Corps is working with the New York State Department of Health and the Seneca Nation," the press release stated. "It is also posting signs notifying the public of the health risks associated with blue-green algae."
Water tests will be ongoing and the Corps will monitor the situation.
"Blue-green algae can generate toxins that can impact human, pet, livestock and fish health," according to the release. "It can cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, and in severe cases liver or nervous system damage."
The New York Department of Health offers guidelines for what people should look for in suspected blue-green algae.
"People should suspect that blue-green algae could be present in water that is visibly discolored or that has surface scums. Colors can include shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. Water affected by blue-green algal blooms often is so strongly colored that it can develop a paint-like appearance," according to its website. "Unpleasant tastes or odors are not reliable indicators of blue-green algal toxins or other toxic substances, because species producing bluegreen algal toxins may or may not also produce chemicals that affect the taste or odor of drinking water. Similarly, the absence of unpleasant tastes and odors does not guarantee the absence of blue-green algal toxins."