(WWJ) Stay away, don't touch it, and definitely do not get it in your mouth.
The Washtenaw County Health Department, in consultation with the state health department, is issuing a public health advisory for a suspected harmful algal bloom in Ford Lake in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
What you need to know:
People and pets should avoid direct body contact with scums in the lake, water that is blue-green, or water that looks like it has a green sheen or spilled paint on its surface. People and pets should also avoid swallowing the lake water, as well.
There are different types of naturally occurring algal blooms that may be seen on lakes and rivers, and most are not harmful, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. However, there are some that are made of cyanobacteria that have the ability to produce toxins, causing a harmful algal bloom (HAB).
These toxins may affect the liver, nervous system and/or skin, officials say.
At Ford Lake, officials say a resident recently notified MDHHS of a suspected HAB when they saw an area of water that had a “spilled paint” look. Testing then confirmed microcystin toxin in the water, indicating the possibility of a HAB, but on a follow-up site visit, inspectors didn't find anything.
Either way, health officials say the advisory was issued to alert the public to the possibility of a HAB on the lake.
What causes HABs to form?
Factors that can contribute to HABs include: sunlight; low-water or low-flow conditions; calm water; warmer temperatures; and excess nutrients (phosphorus or nitrogen). The primary sources of nutrient pollution are runoff of fertilizers, animal manure, sewage treatment plant discharges, storm water runoff, car and power plant emissions, and failing septic tanks.