With summer’s warmer temperatures and runoff from residents’ lawns summer in Minnesota can provide conditions in lakes prime for developing harmful algae blooms which can be harmful to pets and humans.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) outlines what blue-green algae is, when and where you’re likely to find it and what are the possible health effects in a great article on their website here: www.pca.state.mn.us/water/blue-green-algae-and-harmful-algal-blooms.
Who should I call?
If you think you or your pets are experiencing adverse health effects due to contact with, or ingestion of, lake water/algae, seek medical attention immediately.
In addition, report human health effects to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Foodborne and Waterborne Illness Hotline at 1-877-366-3455. For health questions, citizens can contact MDH’s Waterborne Diseases Unit at 651-201-5414 or visit their web site: Harmful algal blooms (MDH)
MPCA lake monitoring staff track reports of potential harmful algae blooms. For more information on harmful algal blooms, please call 651-757-2822, or toll-free from Greater Minnesota at 1-800-657-3864.
How can we get rid of harmful algae blooms?
We can’t completely eliminate blue-green algae from a lake because they are a natural part of the overall algal community. However, we can help reduce the overall intensity and frequency of algae blooms by reducing the amount of nutrients that enter the lake.
This is where your lawn comes in. Reducing the amount of fertilizer used on your lawn, sweeping up grass clippings and leaves from your street, reducing runoff from your lawn by not overwatering (1 inch per week is all you need!) and Adopting-A-Drain on your street can all reduce the amount of nutrients entering local lakes. Fewer nutrients entering the lakes means less food for algae to grow!