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Palm Beach County health officials issue algae bloom alert

Harmful blue-green algal toxins found at multiple locations
Blue-green algae
Posted at 11:09 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 11:11:14-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County has issued a health alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins at numerous Lake Okeechobee locations.

The alert was issued after surface water samples were taken from the area.

Health officials said residents and visitors should take the following precautions in and around the affected areas:

  • 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. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. 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.

This health alert does not affect drinking water.

For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, click here.

To see if an algae bloom health alert has been lifted, click here and enter “palm beach county” for location.