The summer season means warmth, sunshine and long days to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and spending time around the water. Unfortunately for many communities, the warm weather can also promote the growth of pond algae in lakes and ponds used for recreation and drinking water. In community waterbodies, moderate amounts of algae can often signify the waterbody is in good health, but excess algae levels may indicate that the natural balance of the ecosystem has been compromised. Without swift and proper management, certain species of algae, like cyanobacteria, can begin producing harmful toxins.
Following exposure or digestion of these toxins, humans and animals can experience skin rashes, liver and kidney toxicity, nervous system problems, respiratory complications and even death. Exposure to cyanobacteria also has suspected links to degenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.