Why is the water so green?
Residents of two Bradenton homeowners associations have been advised to stay out of the water in the canals surrounding their communities due to a blue-green algae bloom.
Both associations are part of the Inlets, a waterfront boating community that includes a network of canals that connect to the Manatee River.
As of July 15, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reports that the Manatee River has “returned to normal,” as far as recent bloom outbreaks are concerned, but health officials are reporting the canals do contain the algae.
Testing is underway to determine if the bloom contains cyanotoxins.
“Not all blue-green algae blooms contain toxins,” states a July 17 letter from Thomas Larkin, environmental manager for the Department of Health in Manatee County. “However, adults, children and pets should avoid swimming in or drinking water while blue-green algae blooms are present. The FDEP will test the collected samples for toxins. If blue-green algae toxins are present, we will notify you.”
DEP cautioned residents to avoid the bloom. The health department is recommending the immediate placement of signs at public access points to ensure awareness.
“Blue-green algae blooms tend to shift by place and time as they move around due to wind, waves and currents,” Larkin said. “Conditions can change quickly. Therefore, this sign can remain throughout the bloom season.”
Health officials warn:
- You should not swim in the affected waters.
- Avoid getting water in your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Do not eat shellfish from the affected location.
- Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, discard guts and cook thoroughly.
- Keep pets and livestock away from the affected area.