Streets & stormwater division
Lake Alert Program
Update: February 21, 2013
LAKE ALERT for LAKE BALDWIN - LIFTED
*** UPDATED INFORMATION: Low (fecal coliform) bacteria counts have determined
that Lake Baldwin's bacteria levels meet the State of Florida's acceptable
water quality standards for recreational activities. Therefore, please resume
with normal activities on the lake.***
Additional questions may be directed to Lisa Lotti, Stormwater Compliance
Program Manager, at 407.246.2037.
WHAT IS A LAKE ALERT?
To address citizen concerns related to water quality, the Stormwater
Section has developed a new public information system, "Lake Alert,"
to provide seasonal and localized warnings (and updates) for City of
Orlando lakes. Here you will find information related to lakes
where water quality is a concern, as in the case of a sanitary
overflow or following an atypical rainfall or long durations of
rain. Please check here for updates, including the type of
water quality hazard and severity and to be notified when the
waterbody is safe again for recreational purposes.
Updates to this site will be made during City of Orlando normal
business hours ONLY. Call the Lake Alert Recorded Message at
407.246.2220 for information 24 hours a day.
Updates to this site will be made during City of Orlando normal business hours ONLY. Call the Lake Alert Recorded Message at 407.246.2220 for information 24 hours a day.
***For email notification of Lake Alerts on areas of your interest, please continue to the Lake Alert sign-up form.***
WHAT WILL A LAKE ALERT LOOK LIKE?
LAKE ADVISORIES (ONGOING)
1. WARM WATER WARNINGS:
Parasitic disease caused by Naegleria is very rare—only a few
hundred cases have ever been reported—however a few common sense
precautions will protect people from acquiring this and other water
2. BLUE-GREEN ALGAE BLOOMS:
Blue-green algae are simple plants that occur in water and wet areas. An algae "bloom" is a rapid buildup of algae that creates a green, blue-green or brown color on the surface of the water. They are often found in standing water in lakes and ponds near the shoreline. Warm, calm water and nutrients contribute to the rapid growth of algae. Blooms can occur any time of year, but are typically observed from the early spring to the fall in Central Florida.
Only a few types of blue-green algae are known to produce toxins, however, there is no way to determine visually whether or not a bloom is toxic. If you suspect and algae bloom is present, it is best to stay out of the water, keep pets away, and contact the City of Orlando Stormwater Hotline at 407.246.2370. If you do contact the water, wash thoroughly with a clean source of water. Do not use the affected water for drinking or cooking as toxins cannot be removed with filtration, boiling, or chemical treatments. However, activities near the water are safe. Eating fish caught during a bloom can pose a health risk.
If toxic algae is swallowed it can cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps, fainting, numbness, dizziness, tingling, and paralysis. Skin contact can cause rashes or irritation. Children and pets are at greatest risk.
Characteristic images of algae blooms:
DO NOT SWIM IN LAKES DIRECTLY AFTER ATYPICAL RAINFALL EVENTS:
The sanitary and stormwater sewers are two separate systems in the
City of Orlando, meaning that stormwater enters natural waterways
through storm drains, and sanitary sewage (wastewater) is
transported for treatment to the wastewater plant.
Despite this separation, following unusually heavy
rainfall there is the potential for sanitary sewage overflow, which
can carry bacteria from untreated sewage onto paved areas, into
storm drains, and into our lakes commonly used for recreational
In short, please delay your recreational activities at the lakes
until 48 hours following an unusually heavy rainstorm, particularly
those activities that involve people or pets entering the water
directly or during which water could be swallowed (examples:
jet skiing, water skiing or swimming).
People who fish within the 48-hour window should wash their
hands after touching the water. Anyone who wants to eat fish caught
in the city lakes within the 48-hour window should cook them
thoroughly to kill bacteria.
Why 48 hours? Over the
48 hours, lakes left standing without disturbance provides time for
any bacteria to settle to the bottom, somewhat purifying the surface