Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Is it safe to swim?

Summer means more frequent and intense toxic algae blooms

Warnings have been issued for toxic algae-choked lakes and waterways across the country, where outbreaks of cyanobacterial blooms pose risks for people and pets. Summer is the peak season for harmful algal blooms, which multiply rapidly in warmer temperatures when excess nutrients and pollutants are present in the water.

In South Carolina, monitoring and testing is underway at lakes, rivers, and waterways across the state. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has put swimmers and boaters on notice to watch out for potentially dangerous algae in South Carolina waters, including algal blooms in the Broad and Congaree rivers and multiple blooms of Lyngbya wollei on Lake Wateree.

“Cyanobacteria is toxic. It can harm you. It can harm your family. Every year we hear about pets going into the water and suffering the consequences,” said Dr. Gad Weiss, scientific director, Blue-Green Water Technologies (Blue-Green). “It’s a bacterial infection in the water body. Toxic algae push out the good organisms. They take over.”

Outbreaks of algae blooms are a growing global threat, producing dangerous toxins that can sicken or even kill people and pets, contaminate seafood and drinking water, drive down property values, and hurt businesses, livelihoods, and economies.

Climate change is escalating outbreaks and increasing levels of toxicity worldwide.

“Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air and water promote the rapid growth of harmful algae,” said Eyal Harel, CEO, BlueGreen. “Toxic algae thrive in warmer water, and as the water temperature rises, algae grow more rapidly and float to the surface faster.”

“There is a domino effect, as well. Blooms of algae absorb sunlight and make the water even warmer, which causes even more toxic algae to grow,” said Harel.

To protect your family and pets from harmful algal blooms this summer:

•Know before you go. Check for advisories before you head to the lake and avoid contact with the water when warnings are posted.

•Stay out if the water is discolored, smells bad, or has foam or scum on the surface.

•Do not fish, boat, or play water sports when harmful algae are present.

•Immediately rinse exposed skin with clear water.

•Keep pets out of the water.

•Wear gloves and rinse animals immediately after contact with infected water.

•Do not wash dishes or camping gear in water bodies.

•Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food.

•When in doubt, stay out!

BlueGreen water scientists have been successfully eliminating toxic algae from water bodies around the globe by using a unique, floating, timed-release algaecide that targets toxic species and restores the health and biodiversity of the aquatic environment.

“After years of research, we have learned how to treat these blooms by surgically targeting only the toxic cyanobacteria,” said Dr. Moshe Harel, CSO, BlueGreen. “Our product has a biodegradable coating which allows it to float on the surface of the water. This enables faster contact with cyanobacterial populations. We don’t need to pump gallons of treatment into the water to get the job done.”

To spot harmful algal blooms:

•Water color appears bright green, blue-green, or red.

•Waterbody has slimy plants, foam, scum, or mats floating on the surface.

•Water smells musty, fishy, or like rotten eggs, septic, or gasoline.

BlueGreen Water Technologies is leading the charge in helping preserve and promote life on Earth. We are restoring, safeguarding, and optimizing the health, safety, accessibility, and biodiversity of waterbodies worldwide— including their wildlife, aquatic life, ecosystems, and economies— by pioneering and applying proven scientific ingenuity and deep tech solutions. BlueGreen is the first and only company in the world to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and commercialize a technology suite that reverses the effects of climate change in water bodies and drastically reduces greenhouse gas levels. The multidisciplinary team of BlueGreen experts is exposing the secrets of lakes and oceans— detecting, analyzing, preventing, and remediating some of the most complex dynamic problems that plague the world’s water systems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.