Summer weather means trips to the lake — and algae blooms

August 13, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 1 p.m. Aug. 13, 2010

King County boasts more than 500 lakes — but slimy algae can turn a refreshing dip into a stinky mess.

The county Water and Land Resources Division has cataloged algae blooms in lakes Sammamish, Washington, Horseshoe, Hicks, Wilderness, Walker and Echo this summer.

Learn more about King County lake management and current algae blooms here.

Algae occur naturally in some lakes during the summer, thanks to the right mixture of ample sunlight, water temperatures and nutrients. Many algae varieties make for a nuisance, some might smell bad as they decompose and others can be harmful if swallowed by people or pets.

Water and Land Resources Division staffers in the Lake Stewardship Group developed information about the types of algae people might encounter on county lakes. The employees work with other county staffers and state agencies to monitor water quality, analyze data and share their findings with other governments and the public.

Staffers also work with Public Health – Seattle & King County to post information at lakes where water samples verify the presence of harmful algae.

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