UPDATE – Oct.9, 2012 – Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendant Christopher Williams, with the support of Public Health – Seattle & King County, has closed Green Lake to some activities because of the presence of a cyanobacterial toxin in amounts exceeding the state Department of Health recreational guidelines. The lake is closed to wading, swimming and “wet-water boating” activities like sailboarding, with a special caution to dog owners not to let them drink from the lake.
“Rather than risk the health of any park user, we’re closing the lake to some activities until we have confirmation that the water is safe,” said Williams. “The level of toxicity leads us to err on the side of caution to limit the risk of anyone ingesting the water.” The lake is open to fishing and boating – activities in which users are unlikely to ingest the water. The closure will be in effect until the algae bloom has completed its lifecycle – for weeks or months, depending on the fall weather and how it affects the algae in the lake. Algae blooms happen periodically year-round, and can be dangerous for pets and small children if found to be toxic, according to the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNR). DNR’s Sally Abella would like your help tracking algae blooms. It is important to get pictures and samples as soon as possible after scums are seen, she said. Abella put out a call for lake visitors to lend a hand.
“If you walk around the lake frequently, take a look at the lakeshore, and please report it right away if you see an algae scum. Note the location and the date/time. A picture of the site is worth gold! Email me ASAP [or you can call Garet at 206-524-4326 and let FOGL know] so we can coordinate a toxicity test with Dept of Ecology and the King County Environmental Lab.”
PLEASE NOTE: It is best at this time NOT to take a sample yourself because the algae could be toxic.
Photo by Gayle Garman