Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta was notified this evening that the samples taken earlier today in Skaneateles Lake show non-detectable levels of toxin in drinking water reaching customers of the 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. Although low levels of toxin continue to be found in untreated drinking water, the treated water shows no indication of toxin.
The New York State Department of Health has advised the City of Syracuse that sampling is not necessary over the weekend since the algal blooms have dissipated. The City will continue to visually monitor the lake for the presence of blooms over the weekend and routine water sampling will start again on Monday.
The Onondaga County Health Department reminds residents to NEVER drink untreated surface water, whether or not harmful algal blooms are present. Residents who draw water directly from the lake through near-shore PRIVATE INTAKES should 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.
Learn more about blue-green algae:
- Blue-Green Algae and Health: health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/
- Dogs and Algae Blooms: dec.ny.gov/docs/water_pdf/habspets.pdf
- NYS Department of Environmental Conservation: dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html