Created on Saturday, 07 June 2014 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
Water is safe
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is working to clear up some misconceptions concerning signs recently posted around Indian Lake.
Signs like this one at Moundwood State Park warn Indian Lake users of the potential danger of algae blooms. The lake is safe for users and the signs are for informational purposes only, Ohio Department of Natural Resources personnel report. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MIRIAM BAIER)
The signs were placed at beaches and launch ramps at Indian Lake State Park with photos of algae-infested waters along with the warning: “Have fun on the water, but know that blue-green algae are in many Ohio lakes. Their toxins may be, too.”
The signs are designed to educate and inform guests about potential algae, ODNR officials said, but Indian Lake is under no advisory.
“The lake, according to multiple tests, is safe for people of all ages to swim,” an ODNR release indicated. “An algal bloom has been spotted in one area of the lake, but testing showed the bloom is not producing toxins at a detectable level.”
Testing at Indian Lake shows non-detectable or very low levels of both algal toxins and bacteria, indicating the overall health of the lake and the watershed is good. Efforts of the Indian Lake Watershed Project have been instrumental in maintaining good water quality, ODNR officials said.
A new dredge at Indian Lake State Park will improve boater safety and access as well as provide the added benefit of improving water quality by removing sediment from the lake bottom.
Different signs have been placed around nearby Grand Lake St. Marys indicating harmful algae blooms have made the water unsafe for swimming. That lake has been plagued by the algae blooms since 2010, when officials said the water was unsafe to touch.
Ohio has developed an aggressive protocol for dealing with algal blooms at public lakes, and the protocol calls for ODNR to post these educational signs when a bloom is spotted.
The signs offer pictures and descriptions of what a bloom looks like and encourages guests to avoid them. There is also a link provided where visitors and boaters can get more information about algae in Ohio, ohioalgaeinfo.com.
ODNR will continue to test the water and post any advisories, if necessary.
Indian Lake is an Ohio treasure and one of the top five busiest Ohio State Parks. ODNR wants to ensure guests are educated about water quality at our lakes and signs such as these work to accomplish that goal.