Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services Prepares Residents for the Potential of Harmful Algal Blooms this Summer

Matthew Phillips
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Mecklenburg County, N.C. – As temperatures in the area continue to warm, Charlotte area lakes and parks are starting to get busy with outdoor enthusiasts such as boaters, swimmers, and hikers. While residents are out on the lakes or near ponds this summer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services cautions citizens to be aware of the potential for harmful algal blooms or HABS to occur. Although most algal blooms are not harmful, some species of algae can produce toxins that have been linked to severe illness in humans and animals if ingested.

Algal blooms are often green in appearance, look like pea soup or spilled green paint. They can often give off a foul smell. Unfortunately, you cannot tell if an algal bloom is toxic by looking at it. If an algal bloom is suspected, keep yourself, others, and pets away from the area. If you accidentally encounter water that possibly contains a HAB, immediately rinse with tap water and do not allow pets to lick themselves before they are rinsed off. Seek immediate medical attention if illness occurs.

If you see a bloom, please make sure to report it so staff can investigate:

We recommend that “When in Doubt, Stay Out”.


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