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DEC says harmful algal blooms widespread on Cayuga County lakes

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Owasco Lake Watershed Program have both confirmed that harmful algal blooms continue to be widespread on Cayuga, Owasco, and Skaneateles lakes, but toxins remain undetected in municipal drinking water, the Cayuga County Health Department said in a release Tuesday.

According to the release, the DEC informed the department that harmful algal blooms (HABS) remain present on Cayuga and Skaneateles lakes, while the inspection program confirmed the blooms, which are comprised of cyanobacteria, on Owasco Lake.

The health department, in accordance with its previously developed response plan, switched to twice weekly sampling at city of Auburn and town of Owasco water treatment plants after algae was seen entering the Auburn treatment plant last week, the release said.

Toxins have not been detected in any samples this year, according to the release. Sampling results are available publicly at the health department's website under the harmful algal bloom tab at cayugacounty.us/Community/Health/Environmental-Health/Blue-Green-Algae.

Toxins have also not been detected in the Skaneateles Lake drinking water system, which is the source for the town and village of Skaneateles, the city of Syracuse and other towns and villages in Onondaga County. Onondaga County's sampling results are available at ongov.net/health/bluegreenalgae.html.

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