Blue-Green Algae

What are cyanobacteria or blue-green algae?

Blue-Green Algae/Cyanobacteria are aquatic organisms that are found as floating mats on the surface of lakes or ponds. There are health concerns associated with contact Blue Green Algae and the toxins produced by some species. 

Does the presence of an algae bloom always mean the water is contaminated?

No. Just as not all cyanobacteria have blooms that are visible, not all cyanobacteria produce harmful toxins. Between 30 and 50 percent of blooms are from non-toxic species of cyanobacteria. 


If you develop symptoms consistent with cyanotoxin exposure following contact with scummy water, contact your physician or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

If your pet has been wading or swimming in a pond, lake or stream, or has eaten dried algae, and is experiencing any seizure-like symptoms, or any of the other symptoms described, call your veterinarian immediately.

Report exposures to your local health department or local natural resources office. They can track exposures, and use this information to determine when sampling efforts need to be increased, or if water bodies should be closed to the public.

Other Related Links