People, pets should avoid toxic algae bloom at Green Lake

by: John Knicely Updated:


SEATTLE - Seattle Parks Department took action Thursday morning after a KIRO 7 report on warning signs telling people to avoid Green Lake because of toxic algae.  They acknowledged that the blue-green algae currently poses a health risk in parts of Green Lake but not the whole lake.  And they insist the lake is safe for swimming.

 “We see how those (signs) may have been a bit misleading and so we're changing them and in fact they've been changed this morning,” said Parks spokesperson Joelle Hamerstad.

The new signs focus on the danger of the blue green algae to pets and remove the language about avoiding the lake.

 The King County Department of Natural Resources tests the toxicity levels in Green Lake.   Winds and waves push the algae blooms into concentrated scums in small coves. 

 “Toxin levels are quite low in most portions of the lake,” said DNR spokesman Doug Williams.  “But they are higher in certain areas.”

 Exposure to the toxic algae can cause rashes, sore throats, vomiting, and liver poisoing.

 Williams says the algae blooms aren’t expected to last long.

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