Algae bloom prompts new health alert at Pahokee Marina


PAHOKEE, Fla. — Water quality problems continue to be an issue at the Pahokee Marina and Lake Okeechobee.

SPECIAL SECTION: Protecting Paradise

A new health alert was issued Monday by the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County after the presence of toxic blue-green algae was detected in the lake at the marina boat ramp.

Health officials said the alert was prompted by water samples take on Sept. 7.

The public is urged to exercise caution in and around the area, but drinking water is not affected.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water
  • Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms

MORE: People living on boats have to leave Pahokee Marina

The Pahokee Marina has been impacted more than once this year by toxic algae.

The South Florida Water Management District worked in April to clean up a large algae bloom that forced the closure of the marina.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection collects and analyzes algae bloom samples. To report a bloom to the DEP, call the 855-305-3903 or report it online.

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