Livestock and pet owners encouraged to be on the lookout for blue-green algae
Livestock, pets and children are most at risk of becoming ill due to the algae.
BISMARCK, N.D.–Blue-green algae may already be present in many bodies of water across North Dakota.
The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality says that while the algae is most common in late summer, it only takes a few hot days for the algae to bloom.
The algae is known to produce toxins called cynotoxins that when ingested can cause vomiting, dizziness, rashes and death. Livestock, pets and children are most at risk of becoming ill due to the algae.
Bodies of water that contain blue-green algae will look discolored and may have foam, scum or mats on the surface.
The NDDEQ recommends taking the following precautions to avoid blue-green algae:
• Respect advisories announced by public health authorities.
• Do not swim, water ski, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum or mats of green or blue-green algae on the water.
• If you accidentally swim in water that might have a cyanobacteria bloom, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible.
• Do not let pets or livestock swim in or drink from areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae.
• If pets (especially dogs) swim in scummy water, rinse them off immediately – do not let them lick the algae (and toxins) off.
• Do not irrigate lawns or golf courses with pond water that looks scummy or smells bad.
To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom, visit deg.nd.gov.