The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is continuing to alert visitors about a blue-green algae bloom in the Allegheny Reservoir.
The Corps was notified about the algae bloom by the New York State Department of Health on Aug. 30.
Corps officials tested the effected water and determined that the bloom could be harmful to humans and pets should they come in contact with the algae.
Affected portion of Allegheny Reservoir
The bloom was found in the New York State portion of the Allegheny Reservoir from Quaker Bay downstream to Willow Bay.
A press release from the Corps said it has continued to test and monitor the effected waters weekly, and results indicate that the bloom is still ongoing.
Posted signs notifying the public of the health risks associated with blue-green algae will remain in place until the threat dissipates, according to the Corps.
Blue-green algae is native to the area, Steve Lauser, resource manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Kinzua Dam, told the Times Observer last month, and shows up in different locations depending on the time of the season. It can also migrate as it moves with the wind and wave action.
When the algae poses a public health concern, the Corps of Engineers makes recommendations for people not to enter the waters of higher concentration.
This past summer provided an extreme case of the right conditions for algae growth. Both shallow water levels and high air and water temperatures propagated growth, Lauser said, more than there would normally be.
Children and pets are the most susceptible to the effects of blue-green algae. Visitors are encouraged to avoid areas where algae are present.
Blue-green algae can generate toxins that can impact human, pet, livestock and fish health. It can cause allergic-type reactions, skin irritations, and in severe cases liver or nervous system damage.
For more information, visit New York State Department of Health website at: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae.pdf