What to know about blue-green algae warnings

What to know about blue-green algae warnings
What to know about blue-green algae warnings(KFYR)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 12:03 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. - This week the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality issued a warning about blue-green algae.

Cyanotoxins are not new to North Dakota waters.

Aaron Larsen, an environmental scientist with the department, said this type of bacteria is actually always present in these bodies of water, but with the right elements it can become harmful.

"When you have excess nutrients in the water body, warm temperatures, both ambient water temperatures and water temperatures, and combine that with slow moving or stagnant water and plenty of sunlight, the cyanobacteria cells can multiply quickly," said Larsen.

The bacteria can be extremely harmful to humans, pets, and livestock that come into contact with it.

"We do have five warnings in place right now. That doesn't mean folks can't use those water bodies, it's a heightened state of awareness that we have documented excessively high cyanotoxin levels," said Larsen. 

The DEQ encourages citizens to educate themselves on what the algae looks like and report sightings of it on the department website.


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