I'm a little late to report this because I was on vacation, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported two confirmed toxic algal blooms on Cossayua and Saratoga lakes earlier this month.
Samples were collected and analyzed through the lakes' Citizen Statewide Lake Assessment Programs, which checks on a variety of water-quality measurements with the help of volunteers.
Cossayuna Lake's bloom was reported on Monday, Sept. 9. The harmful algal bloom's status is listed as "confirmed with high toxins." Saratoga Lake's bloom was documented on Friday, Sept. 6 and is listed as "confirmed."
Editor’s note: This article is the first in an occasional series on harmful algal blooms affecting area water sources.
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Harmful algal blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, are naturally occurring in all water bodies, but some species produce toxins. New York's harmful algal blooms tend to produce microcystin, a kind of liver toxin.
When the state says a bloom is "confirmed," it means a sample has been analyzed and the cyanobacteria species that produce toxins has been detected. When the state says a bloom is "confirmed with high toxins," it means a sample shows enough microcystin that people and pets that come into contact with it could get sick.
The state recommends staying out of any discolored water. For more information, go to health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/.
— Gwendolyn Craig