Toxic Algae Found In Ponds, Lakes At New York City Parks

Erica Brosnan
August 26, 2019 - 6:25 pm
Blue-green algae

Miles Blumhardt/Fort Collins Coloradoan via Imagn Content Services, LLC

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The same type of dangerous algae bloom that prompted swimming bans at several New Jersey lakes this summer has now been found in city parks.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation says the dangerous blue-green algae has been detected in Turtle Pond and Harlem Meer in Central Park. It was also discovered in part of the large pond in Prospect Park.

According to the CDC, blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms that live primarily in fresh water and salt water, at the surface and below. They usually multiply and bloom when the water is warm, stagnant, and rich in nutrients from sources such as fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows. They are usually blue-green in color.

Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, irritated eyes, seizures and breathing problems.

Earlier this month, three dogs that swam in a pond containing the algae In Wilmington, North Carolina, all died as a result.

People and animals exposed to tainted water should wash immediately with drinking water.

Residents are being told to stay clear from the ponds in New York City.