New York State Department of Health, Geneva District Office has received a report of algae blooms impacting the designated swim areas of Deep Run Beach (Town of Gorham) and Onanda Park Beach (Town of Canandaigua) resulting in closure of swimming in these parks. Sandy Bottom Beach on Honeoye Lake is also closed for the swimming season due to algae blooms. Please be alert and avoid contact with Blue Green Algae blooms. It is safe to swim and boat in areas of the lake without visible algae.
Blue-green algae occur naturally in bodies of water in low numbers. During prolonged hot weather algae can become abundant, discoloring water and forming scums-particularly in warm, shallow areas. Some blue-green algae produce toxins. These pose health risks to people and animals if exposed in large enough quantities. Symptoms of toxin exposure may include allergic reactions or eye, skin, nose, and throat irritation. Ingesting large amounts of water containing blue-green algae toxins has resulted in liver and nervous system damage in laboratory animals, pets, livestock and people. The public is reminded to keep dogs out of algae blooms as well.
People, pets and livestock should avoid contact with water that has scums on the surface or is discolored-blue-green, yellow, brown or red. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water. Swimming, bathing or showering with water not visibly affected by a blue-green algae bloom is not expected to cause health effects. If symptoms of toxin exposure develop, stop using the water and seek medical attention.
Individuals should not drink untreated surface water. Home boiling, disinfecting (chlorine or UV), and filtering do not remove algae toxins. When using surface water to wash dishes, rinse with bottled water. In addition to toxins, untreated surface water may contain bacteria, parasites or viruses known to cause illness. New York State public water supplies that use surface water sources have operational controls in place to minimize the introduction of pathogens and blue-green algae in drinking water.