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Toxic algae found in Lake Okeechobee and Collier County

Posted at 6:50 AM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 06:51:00-04

A sample of blue-green algae in Lake Okeechobee was tested positive for toxins, according to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection.

In a sample collected June 5 near the eastern side of the lake, the DEP said test results measured Microcystin toxins at 17.6 parts per billion.

The Environmental Protection Agency says swimming in concentrations at 8 parts per billion or higher can be harmful to your health.

So the EPA said the toxins tested are both dangerous and unsafe to swim in.

In the DEP’s latest report, they also found toxic algae in Southwest Florida.

They tested a blue green algae bloom in Collier County and the results show Microcystin toxins were detected.

The bloom is located in Moorings Bar outside of Swan Lake.

The department has a map of where they’ve collected water samples in the past 30 days.

8 of the samples collected in the Caloosahatchee River had algae bloom like conditions but none of them contained toxins.

At last check, the Lake O level is at 10.9 feet.

With the lake level below 11 feet right now, the Army Corps of Engineers has reduced releases going into the Caloosahatchee river.

They went from 800 cubic feet per second to 450 cubic feet per second.

The state’s new blue green algae task force is set to hold their first meeting this week.