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Toxic algae on C-51 canal prompts health alert in Palm Beach County

Water sample taken June 2 found toxins
Health alert sign posted at Southern Boulevard and Military Trail on June 7, 2021
Posted at 4:11 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 18:43:40-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla — The Florida Department of Health issued a health alert Monday after toxic blue-green algae was found on the C-51 canal in Palm Beach County.

RELATED: What's the difference between algae and toxic algae?

Officials said the alert is in effect for the following areas:

  • C-51 bridge at Southern Boulevard and Military Trail
  • C-51 bridge at Forrest Hill Boulevard and Interstate 95
  • C-51 canal at S-155 spillway (upstream)

The advisory was prompted after a water sample taken June 2 found toxins.

The canal has been plagued by algae issues since at least last month.

Area residents previously described the problems as "horrible" and said the algae has been spreading.

Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water
  • Keep pets away from the area.
  • Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins. • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms