Blue-Green Algae Update: Skaneateles Lake

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta announced today that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has confirmed that algal blooms found along the shore of Skaneateles Lake contain elevated levels of toxin. The Onondaga County Health Department, New York State, the City of Syracuse, and the Town of Skaneateles are continuously monitoring the public water supply and there continues to be no indication of a blue green algae bloom near the public water intakes in Skaneateles Lake.

The Onondaga County Health Department reminds residents who draw water directly from the lake through near-shore PRIVATE INTAKES to take the following precautions:

  • DO NOT USE the water for potable purposes such as drinking, making infant formula, making ice, brushing teeth, preparing food, or washing dishes, or for pets.
  • If either algae blooms or scums are present in the vicinity of your water intake, do not use the water for bathing.

To be clear, these recommendations apply only to residents with private intakes; in-home treatments such as boiling, disinfecting water with chlorine or ultraviolet radiation (UV), and water filtration units do not remove the toxins associated with harmful algal blooms.

The Health Department recommends taking the following additional precautions:

  • Do not swim, wade, or fish near algae blooms or surface scums
  • Do not let dogs wade, drink the water, or walk on algae-contaminated shoreline debris
  • Rinse yourself and pets with clean water if exposed to algae
  • Anyone who experiences skin or eye irritation or gastrointestinal illness should contact their health care provider.

Learn more about blue-green algae: