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Algae toxins appear in Skaneateles Lake drinking water, Owasco Lake’s untreated water

Low levels of harmful algae toxins were detected in some drinking water distributed from Skaneateles Lake, according to a statement from the state Department of Health, Onondaga County Health Department and the city of Syracuse Department of Water on Wednesday. Meanwhile, toxin and chlorophyll levels in Owasco Lake's blooms are high, though the city of Auburn and town of Owasco's treatment systems appear to be keeping the drinking water clear.

Samples collected from Skaneateles Tuesday night showed toxin levels at 0.25 micrograms per liter after Monday's tests showed 0.26. That's close to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's health advisory guideline for those with compromised immune systems, the elderly and children under the age of six, 0.3 micrograms per liter. That advisory, however, extends over a 10-day period, and this is the first day toxins have been detected. Therefore, officials have said, the water is safe to drink.

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