The Orange County Health Department is investigating an algae bloom at a lake that has residents feeling the side effects of what they say is a horrendous, eye-watering smell.
Local 6 first reported about the Lake Buchanan algae bloom last week. After Local 6's report, the health department took samples of the water and now they're posted signs around the lake telling residents to stay away.
The lake is near Holden Avenue and Rio Grande Avenue just off I-4.
Health officials said during blooms like this dermatitis, skin irritation, runny eyes and nose, sore throat, asthma-like symptoms and allergic reactions have been reported. Side effects of ingested a toxic bloom can result in abdominal pain, vomiting, liver, kidney and neurotoxicity with possible severe health effects, according to a release.
Health officials also recommended the following procedures to keep residents safe:
- Do not swim, water ski, or boat in water that is discolored, scum or algae covered. If exposed to water which may contain these freshwater toxins, rinse off immediately.
- Do not allow pets or livestock to drink from ponds or lakes that are discolored, or scum or algae covered.
- Do not use discolored, scum or algae covered or musty smelling water for irrigation.
- Be mindful of your personal health status as well as your family and pet’s. If you believe you have symptoms related to exposure to fresh water toxins, seek prompt medical attention from your health care provider.