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Cornelius News

Beware algae in nasty water

Aug. 13. Toxic algae blooms are making news across the country as hot weather heats up ponds and lakes. The blooms can kill a dog in about 15 minutes.

Now the Town of Cornelius says an algae bloom that formed on the surface of the southern pond at Robbins Park—behind the tennis courts off Robbins Crescent Drive—contained bacterias that can produce toxins that are harmful to human health and pets.

People and pets should refrain from contacting the water. “While there is no easy method to determine if the algae in the southern pond was toxic, PARC took action to treat the algae and notify the public,” a town press release dated Aug. 13 said. PARC is shorthand for the town’s park, arts, recreation and culture department.

On Aug. 8, staff noticed an algae bloom forming on the surface of the Robbins Park southern pond.

“A pond management company was hired to treat the algae with a product that is EPA-approved and will not negatively affect any wildlife or native vegetation. Additionally, PARC staff installed several signs around the pond to warn park visitors and their pets to stay out of the water and posted additional information about cyanobacteria on its website,” the press release said.

There’s no cure for poisoning from toxic algae, and exposure usually leads to death in dogs. Drinking from a body of water where blue-green algae lurks or licking it off fur can kill a dog within 15 minutes of exposure.

Algae occurs naturally in water, but the blue-green variety, also known as cyanobacteria, is harmful. The town reported two varieties: Microcystis and Anabaena. This article on CNN has useful information: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/12/health/toxic-algae-dog-deaths-trnd/index.html

PARC will continue to work with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. The town press release said rain will help reduce the bloom.