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Clear Lake Toxic Algae Closed Advisory

January 22, 2015

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Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department recommends people keep out of Clear Lake. Dangerously high levels of toxins found in the algae present an increased risk of illness, especially to children and pets. The lake is unsafe for people and pets.

A warning advisory was issued for Clear Lake on December 30, 2014 due to high toxin levels. However, an algae sample collected on January 14, 2015 had toxin levels more than ten times worse than the previous sample.

Swallowing lake water or prolonged skin contact with algae may result in illness such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea in people. If someone may have swallowed water containing algae, seek immediate medical attention. If a pet is vomiting, lethargic, disoriented, or having seizures, take the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Excessive nutrients from fertilizers, animal and human waste can run off into lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound.

We will continue to monitor algae in the lake and will send another notice when we are able to lift the advisory.

For more information, please contact Ray Hanowell at (253) 798-2845 (rhanowell@tpchd.org), or Lindsay Tuttle at (253) 798-3530 (ltuttle@tpchd.org), or visit our website at
www.tpchd.org/toxicalgae.

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