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Concern over algae containing microcystin on Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 04:06:30-04

Is it a concern or nothing to worry about?

The Department of Environmental Protection confirms that recent samples of blue-green algae from Lake Okeechobee contain high levels of toxic microcystin.

The toxic levels for this sample were 815 mg.

The World Health Organization considers just 10 mg to be hazardous.

J.P. Sasser in Pahokee says algae on the lake this time of the year is normal.

"We know this is a natural occurrence," said Sasser.

Many say that recent sample is not normal.

DEP found the toxins earlier this month. When officials returned a week later no algae was present.

We've learned more samples were taken Monday at the same location.

The toxins are on the mind of Mike Conner in Martin County.

"It's 80 times the level that the World Health Organization deems as dangerous," said Conner.

Many are concerned should lake levels rise.

"This becomes fresh overnight if these are open. It's a great breeding ground for the algal blooms to grow," said Conner.

Sasser says there's no need to panic.

"I don't think there needs to be this frenzy they're trying to build up about it," said Sasser.

Though all can agree the lake levels need to stay put.