The Town of Southern Pines said Friday that Cyanobacterial Blooms are present in Reservoir Park Lake and citizens are to use extreme caution while visiting the 95-acre lake, located off Highway 22.
Town officials are warning the public to stay out of the water including pets.
“If you come into contact with the algae, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible,” said officials. “Do not allow pets to lick the algae off their fur.” The town also said no fishing is allowed.
The following information is provided by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are naturally-occurring microscopic algae that often grow in fresh bodies of water such as lakes, ponds and canals. Like plants, they can use the sun as an energy source.
Small numbers of cyanobacteria can explosively grow into large numbers very quickly. This rapid increase is called a bloom. The bloom can become harmful to people, pets, livestock, and aquatic plants and animals by producing toxins, shading light, and clogging gills in fish.
Toxins produced by cyanobacteria can affect the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, liver, and nervous system of people, pets, livestock and other animals.
Children and dogs are the most vulnerable to the effects of cyanobacterial toxins. Dogs are especially susceptible to cyanotoxins that attack the nervous system. Deaths of dogs associated with cyanobacteria have been identified in North Carolina. Inadvertently, dogs can also alert us to possible adverse human health effects due to harmful algal blooms.
N.C. DHHS recommends the following steps to safeguard pets and children from harmful cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms:
Keep children and pets away from waters that appear discolored or scummy.
Do not handle or touch large accumulations (“scums” or mats) of algae.
Do not water ski or jet ski over algal mats.
Do not use scummy water for cleaning or irrigation.
If you accidentally come into contact with an algal bloom, wash thoroughly.
If your pet appears to stumble, stagger, or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
If your child appears ill after being in waters containing a bloom, seek medical care immediately.
If you are unsure whether or not a bloom is present, it is best to stay out of the water.