Advisory: Confirmed Harmful Algal Bloom in Round Lake
Wednesday August 24, 2022
Final testing results confirm a microcystin level of 8.4 ug/l taken from Round Lake in Hillsdale County
Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency has received from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Laboratories the final testing results of water samples taken from Round Lake on August 12, 2022. Final testing results confirm a microcystin level of 8.4 ug/l which is slightly higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended level of 8.0 ug/l for recreational activity.
Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, in consultation with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is continuing the public health advisory for a confirmed harmful algal bloom in Round Lake, Hillsdale County.
“Round Lake residents and visitors are encouraged to continue avoiding any discolored water, scums, or algal matter, including floating purple mats or clumps,” says Paul Andriacchi, Environmental Health Director. “Algal blooms can last up to several weeks and toxin levels will vary until the algae die and decompose.”
Steps you can take to avoid illness:
Avoid direct contact or swallowing water in an area with visible algae bloom. This includes swimming, boating, tubing, skiing, playing in or allowing pets in the water in active bloom areas.
If no scum is visible, but you are unable to see your feet when standing knee deep (after sediment has settled), avoid bathing, immersion of your head or ingesting.
Wear clothing that is loose fitting in the openings to reduce chances of rashes.
Shower or wash once ashore to remove algal material.
Livestock and pets should not drink from the water. They should be washed off when ashore to keep them from licking contaminated legs, faces, paws, bellies, and coats.
Contact your healthcare provider or veterinarian if you, your child, your livestock, or your pet become sick after contact with the water.
To learn more about HABs, visit www.michigan.gov/habs.
Algal blooms are a normal part of lake and pond cycle. Harmful algal blooms need sunlight, slow-moving water, and nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. Nutrient pollution from human activities makes the problem worse, leading to more severe and more frequent blooms. You can help reduce nutrient pollution by:
Choose phosphate-free detergents, soaps, and household cleansers.
When walking your pet, pick up after them and keep their waste away from waterways and waterbodies.
Inspect your septic system annually to ensure proper function.
When washing vehicles and watercraft, use nontoxic, phosphate free soaps and wash them on grass of gravel to filter the runoff before it enters the lake or stream.
Residents and visitors to water bodies are encouraged to report suspected Harmful Algal Blooms to the Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or email AlgaeBloom@Michigan.gov. Sending photos is helpful to investigating staff.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is committed to promoting wellness, preventing disease, providing health care, and protecting the environment.