A health advisory warning against contact with Lacamas Lake and Round Lake has been lifted following a series of clean test results, according to Clark County Public Health.
On Friday, it was announced that Lacamas Lake is no longer a threat to the health of people and pets. Officials had first warned against human and animal contact with the water on June 29, after routine test results confirmed the presence of the blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, in Lacamas Lake.
“We are pleased to announce that the lake is again safe for swimming and other recreational uses,” said. Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer. “Conditions could change, however, so we urge people to be observant and avoid any pockets of the lake that might have a scummy texture and a green bluish or reddish-green color.”
According to information from Clark County Public Health, a blue-green algae bloom is a rapid and massive buildup that gives the water a scummy texture and a green color. It may also appear bluish, brownish or reddish green. A bloom may appear during warm weather, usually between May and October.Warm, sunny weather and nutrients can cause algal blooms. Nutrients that enter the water and promote algal blooms include phosphorus and nitrogen, found in fertilizers and in agricultural, human and animal waste.Some algae may contain toxins that can lead to liver injury, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, the toxins can damage the nervous system and lead to muscle tremors, paralysis and respiratory distress. Skin irritations, allergic reactions, rashes and blisters also are possible. Symptoms may occur within minutes or appear hours or days later following exposure. Prior to this most recent incident, the last time the lake was closed due to elevated levels of blue-green algae was in September 2009, when a dog owned by a Camas couple reportedly became acutely ill and later died after swimming in Round Lake in Camas.