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Addressing Concerns About Blue-Green Algae

Blue-Green Algae > Newsroom > Newsroom Archive > July 1, 2011: Indiana Reservoir and Lake Update July 1, 2011: Indiana Reservoir and Lake Update

The Indiana State Department of Health cautions Hoosiers of possible high levels of blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, at many of Indiana's reservoirs and lakes. Swimmers and boaters should be careful in all recreational waters during this time of the year. Precautionary measures include avoiding contact with visible algae and swallowing water while swimming. Take a bath or shower with warm, soapy water after coming in contact with untreated water in ponds and lakes, especially before preparing or consuming food. Pets and livestock should also not be allowed to swim in or drink untreated water from these sources. Exposure to a blue-green algae during recreational activities such as swimming, wading, and water-skiing may lead to rashes, skin, eye irritation, and other uncomfortable effects such as nausea, stomach aches, and tingling in fingers and toes. If you should experience any symptoms after water recreational activities, please contact your doctor.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will begin cyanobacteria sampling the weeks of June 20th and 27th. The swimming beaches at the following DNR and U.S. Forest Service managed areas will be sampled monthly, unless cell counts exceed 100,000 cells per milliliter (cells/ml), at which point the swimming beaches in exceedance will be resampled on a biweekly basis until the counts fall below 100,000 cells/ml:

  • Potato Creek State Park
  • Pokagon State Park
  • Chain O’Lakes State Park
  • Miami State Recreation Area at Mississinewa Reservoir
  • Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area at Salamonie Reservoir
  • Raccoon State Recreation Area at Cecil M. Hardin Reservoir (Raccoon Lake)
  • Paynetown State Recreation Area on Monroe Reservoir
  • Fairfax State Recreation Area on Monroe Reservoir
  • Hardin Ridge U.S. Forest Service Recreation Area on Monroe Reservoir
  • Hardy Lake State Recreation Area 
  • Whitewater Memorial State Park (Whitewater Lake)
  • Summit Lake State Park

For protection of human health from cyanobacteria, the World Health Organization uses a guideline level of greater than 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin toxin levels of 20 parts per billion (ppb) for a high risk health alert in recreational waters. In Indiana, IDEM uses 6 ppb of microcystin toxin as a warning level. Exact cell counts and microcystin levels can be found in the Test Results section of the web site. For more information on Blue-Green algae, please contact the Indiana Blue-Green Algae Information Line at (877) 650-0033 (Toll Free) or (317) 233-7181.

IDEM Sampling Results

The swimming beaches at the following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts above 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:

  • Chain O’Lakes State Park – Sand Lake sampled 06/27/2011. Will be resampled the week of 07/11/2011.

The swimming beaches at the following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts below 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:

  • Pokagon State Park sampled 06/27/2011
  • Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area at Salamonie Reservoir sampled 06/27/2011
  • Miami State Recreation Area at Mississinewa Reservoir sampled 06/28/2011
  • Potato Creek State Park sampled 06/28/2011
  • Paynetown State Recreation Area on Monroe Reservoir sampled 06/21/2011
  • Fairfax State Recreation Area on Monroe Reservoir sampled 06/21/2011
  • Hardin Ridge U.S. Forest Service Recreation Area on Monroe Reservoir sampled 06/21/2011
  • Raccoon State Recreation Area at Cecil M. Hardin Reservoir (Raccoon Lake) sampled 06/21/2011
  • Hardy Lake State Reservoir sampled 06/20/2011
  • Whitewater Memorial State Park (Whitewater Lake) sampled 06/20/2011
  • Summit Lake State Park sampled 06/22/2011

The Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) Sampling Results

The following locations had cyanobacterial cell counts below 100,000 cells/ml and microcystin levels below 6ppb:

  • Eagle Creek Reservoir 06/27/2011
  • Geist Reservoir 06/27/2011
  • Morse Reservoir 06/27/2011