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Seneca Lake residents can report algae blooms

With the hot weather come some unpleasant things at the lakeshore (like the recent smells). Increasing plant nutrients in the lake are a significant part of this problem and we are into the season when this will occur with increasing frequency. Recently the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) contacted SLPWA with an offer of support to help identify harmful algae blooms in Seneca Lake. DEC will supply collection kits and support testing of suspicious blooms. SLPWA will supply volunteers to take photographs of the blooms, collect samples and coordinate the effort. It will also pay to ship the samples approved for submission to the designated laboratory at SUNY ESF.This is the process that will be followed :1. The person concerned about the algae bloom calls calls the SLPWA Hotline which is posted on the SLPWA website, www.senecalake.org.ALGAE BLOOM HOTLINE NUMBER: 1-800-220-16092. The Hotline information will get sent to the SLPWA HABS coordinators. The coordinator will contact a SLPWA volunteer and give them a sampling kit.3. The Volunteer will go to the site, take a photograph and take the sample per instructions in the sampling kit and return both the sample and the photographic file to the dispatcher.4. The dispatcher will send the photograph to NYSDEC for review. The response from the NYSDEC with either be: (a) NO PROBLEM, or (b) send the sample, in which case the dispatcher will send the sample at SLPWA expense to the SUNY ESF laboratory for analysis.5. Results from the preliminary and final analysis will be shared with the individuals first reporting the algae bloom.6. If areas need to be quarantined, appropriate publicity will be issued by SLPWA and local media.Ed Edwin Przybylowicz, one of the HABS Coordinators, said, “we welcome this initiative from DEC to create an organized and effective program to monitor this threat to public health and safety. Last year we had a number of questions from residents and no way to respond to their concerns. This is certainly a big improvement.”

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