GRDA: Blue-Green Algae Advisory Expanded At Grand Lake

Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 8:24 pm
By: News On 6

It's officially summer and that means people are eager to get back into the water, but there is a problem on Grand Lake and it's lurking very close to the shore.

The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) has expanded their advisory area after confirming the presence of blue-green algae.

"Just yesterday we confirmed the presence of the algae around the Highway 85-A Bridge," said GRDA Vice President of Corporate Communications Justin Alberty.

Blue-Green Algae is the kind that causes discomfort.

"The effects of it can be a rash or hives,” Alberty stated.

As far as the way it looks: "Kind of like a thick green pea soup,” Alberty explained. “Kind of a foamy green."

And nice sunny days are perfect for it to spread.

"It feeds off this sunlight, and it loves this hot weather right now," said Alberty.

GRDA first spotted the Algae near Fly Creek and this week noted that more of it has shown up near Horse Creek.

"We're up there every day drawing new samples just to see if it spreads,” said Alberty.

Back at the lab, technicians are testing those samples.

"We've been really, really busy,” said Research Director for Water Quality Lab Richard Zamor. “We went out again this morning and it looks about the same as yesterday.”

GRDA knows that it has the potential to get worse before it gets better.

"The alga-blooms could really change on a dime,” said Zamor.

How far it spreads is affected by the sun, wind and water currents.

"Like if it was a really windy day, they could all get pushed up into a cove or something," Zamor explained.

Experts say only time will allow the algae to clear up. Until then, keep yourself and pets away.

"Be aware and to kind of stay clear of those areas,” Alberty advised. “Avoid contact with the water in those areas."

As experts mentioned, it needs to run its course and wash out before the waters are okay to swim in again.