Bolton Lake residents and Indian Notch Park visitors are being warned of the confirmation of a toxic blue-green algae bloom that can pose health problems.
A public health advisory was released by Director of Health of the Eastern Highlands Health District Robert L. Miller on Thursday warning of the discovery.
A local scientist visited the area almost two months ago and said the lake was fine. However, over that time, something caused blue-green algae to form on the lake.
Because of the toxic algae, Miller said residents and visitors are to avoid any contact with the water including swimming, diving, playing and/or wading. People should also avoid drinking or allowing animals to drink water from the lake.
In addition, residents should not use lake water to fill pools or for any outdoor showers, and people should avoid boating through areas of visible surface scum.
Health problems for anyone entering or drinking the water can include irritations of the skin, eyes or ears, vomiting and diarrhea, muscle cramps and in extreme cases, nerve or liver damage.
"I think our primary concern is with the potential for accidental indigestion," Miller said.
However, no one has died from drinking the contaminated water, he added.
"I'm concerned is this stuff blowing in the air," said Tom Fisher, resident. "And if it does, people that have respiratory disease, you shouldn't be here and I live here."
If you come in contact with the water, you should rinse yourself or your pets and obey all posted signs for beach closings.
Officials from the Eastern Highlands Health District are trying to find a way to fix the problem. Experts said they cannot just kill the bacteria.
A public hearing will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Bolton town hall to allow residents to ask any questions about the issue.
"We're still gathering information in terms of assessing the magnitude of the problem, so it's very difficult to say wether or not this is going to get worse or better," Miller said.
For more information, check out the Eastern Highlands Health District website by clicking here.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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