Update on Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) Found in Lake Wylie August 26 2021

Rusty Rozzelle
Rusty.Rozzelle@MeckNC.gov
8/26/2021
Mecklenburg County Seal and Storm Water Services Logo

Mecklenburg County, NC – During their latest assessment of Boyd’s Cove on Lake Wylie conducted on August 24, 2021, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services did not observe any active Blue-Green Algae (cyanobacteria) blooms.

Algae is often observed in lakes and ponds.  Cyanobacteria is a type of algae that is less commonly observed and is of particular concern because it has the ability to produce toxins that may be harmful to humans and pets. Cyanobacterial blooms usually appear bright green or yellow; however, when a bloom starts to decay, the color can change to a milky blue. Decaying algae produces a strong, foul odor that can impact a large area.

Cyanobacterial blooms were first observed on August 6, 2021 by staff with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services while conducting a field investigation in response to a call from a resident who observed discolored water in the cove.  Subsequent investigations are being conducted weekly by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services to assess cyanobacteria bloom status in the cove until it is confirmed that active blooms are no longer a threat.  The attached map summarizes the results of these investigations.

Even though active cyanobacteria blooms were not observed in Boyd’s Cove during the latest assessment on August 24, 2021, current conditions are ideal for another bloom to occur. Therefore, staff continue to designate all of Boyd’s Cove as impacted.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department continues to recommend the following steps to safeguard children and pets in all of Boyd’s Cove as identified in the attached map:

  • Keep children and pets away from water that appears bright green, blue, discolored or scummy. Do not handle or touch large mats of algae.
  • Avoid handling, cooking or eating dead fish that may be present.  Avoid fishing in the area of the bloom.
  • If you come into contact with an algal bloom, wash thoroughly.
  • Use clean water to rinse off pets that may have come into contact with an algal bloom.
  • If you or your child appears ill after being in waters containing an algal bloom, seek medical care immediately.  Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, itchy skin or rash.
  • If your pet appears to stumble, stagger or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Avoid boating in the area of the bloom.

Staff with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services will continue to survey the area to identify the locations of additional cyanobacterial blooms. The public will be informed if additional locations are identified.  To report a possible cyanobacterial bloom, please contact Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services at 311.

Algae blooms are significantly influenced by weather and lake conditions and changes in bloom status can occur very quickly; therefore, it is important that while on the lake you remain aware of algae conditions by referring to the additional information available at:

https://charlottenc.gov/StormWater/SurfaceWaterQuality/Pages/QualityofStreamsandLakes.aspx#AB.

To receive future notifications of swimming advisories relating to water quality conditions, register under the new Alert Subscription option entitled “No Swimming Advisory” at www.charmeckalerts.org or text MECKNOSWIM (888-777).

Media Contact: Rusty Rozzelle, at 980-314-3217 or Rusty.Rozzelle@MeckNC.gov