Testing for Blue-Green Algae at Skaneateles Lake Ending

The Health Department reported today that testing for blue-green algae in Skaneateles Lake is now complete.  Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta explained, “There have been three consecutive rounds of testing done which have indicated non-detectable levels of toxin at all points where sampling occurred. Based on these results, the fact that there have been no reports of visible blooms on the lake, and in consultation with the NYSDOH, we have concluded that sampling of Skaneateles Lake water can be safely stopped.”

Following the report of algal blooms in Skaneateles Lake in mid-September, the Onondaga County Health Department has been working collaboratively with both the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the City of Syracuse Water Department, to collect samples to determine whether the levels of algal toxin could impact the municipalities that use Skaneateles Lake as a public drinking water supply.

As cooler temperatures have arrived, the blue-green algal bloom has naturally dissipated.  Sampling has consistently shown non-detectable levels of toxin for drinking water reaching customers of the public system, including the City of Syracuse, the Town of Dewitt, the Village of Skaneateles, the Town of Skaneateles, the Town of Elbridge, the Village of Elbridge and the Village of Jordan. Those residents who use private surface water intakes are advised to never drink untreated surface water. Even if an in-home treatment system is present, bottled water should be used during a bloom. Please refer to the fact sheet: Harmful Blue-green Algae Blooms: Understanding the Risks of Piping Surface Water into Your Home, posted on our website.

For information about blue- green algae, sample results, or using surface water as a drinking water source, please visit our website at: /health/bluegreenalgae.html