Lake Alerts

July 30, 2015 – Lake Alerts Lifted

Lake Alerts have been lifted for Lake Copeland, Lake Daniel, Lake Fairview and Lake Sarah.

Since the Lake Alerts were issued, the City has monitored the algal blooms, and tested the lake water for toxins that are sometimes produced by certain algae in the bloom.  Test results show toxin levels too low to measure.  Therefore, the Lake Alert is being lifted.
 
Please continue to exercise caution on the lake and refrain from using the lake for recreational activities if there is a noticeable algae bloom.  Please notify us if you observe anything unusual in the water.  Continue to stay informed on how you can reduce your personal pollution to the lake by visiting the City’s Stormwater website at cityoforlando.net/stormwater.
 
If you should have additional questions, please email us at stormwater@cityoforlando.net.
NOTE:  The Lake Alert for Lake Fairhope is still in effect and has NOT been lifted.

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July 24, 2015 – Lake Alert Issued for Lake Copeland

The City was made aware of an unusual appearance of Lake Copeland.  For this reason, the City took samples of lake water to determine the presence of toxins.  It was found that low concentrations of toxins are present in Lake Copeland.  As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Copeland until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water. These blooms are caused by low-flowing,warm water and excessive nutrients that can come from a combination of fertilizers, septic tanks, yard waste and pet waste. Blue-green algae can pose a health concern based on its ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains.  Even blooms caused by known toxin-producing species may not produce toxins or may produce toxins at undetectable levels.

The sample taken on 7/24/15 came back with low concentration levels of toxins that should not cause unsafe conditions per guidelines set forth by leading health organizations. However, because of the potential for harm to humans and pets, the City will begin performing weekly microcystin testing until the algae appears to have died. If the toxin level should exceed safe conditions, the City will issue an additional Lake Alert. Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at cityoforlando.net/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Copeland directly.

In the meantime, as stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice. Please be aware that as the algae dies, a “musty” or other unpleasant odor may occur.

The City is also researching what treatment options, if any, are available and safe with minimal biological side effects.

We have attached a link for additional information:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/cyanobacteria.html

If you should have additional questions, please email us at stormwater@cityoforlando.net.

 

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July 17, 2015 – Lake Alert Issued for Lake Fairview AND Lake Sarah

On 7/15/15, the City issued a Lake Alert for Lake Daniel due to the presence of microcystins (toxins) resulting from an algae bloom in the lake.  Because of the close proximity and connection of the waterways, on 7/17/15 the City took lake water samples of Lake Fairview and Lake Sarah to determine the presence of toxins.  It was found that low concentrations of toxins are also present in Lake Fairview and Lake Sarah.  The City is working in conjunction with Orange County, and as a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Fairview and Lake Sarah until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water. These blooms are caused by low-flowing,warm water and excessive nutrients that can come from a combination of fertilizers, septic tanks, yard waste and pet waste. Blue-green algae can pose a health concern based on its ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains.  Even blooms caused by known toxin-producing species may not produce toxins or may produce toxins at undetectable levels.

The sample taken on 7/17/15 came back with low concentration levels of toxins that should not cause unsafe conditions per guidelines set forth by leading health organizations. However, because of the potential for harm to humans and pets, the City, in coordination with Orange County, will begin performing weekly microcystin testing until the algae appears to have died. If the toxin level should exceed safe conditions, the City will issue an additional Lake Alert. Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert atcityoforlando.net/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Fairview and Lake Sarah directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice. Please be aware that as the algae dies, a “musty” or other unpleasant odor may occur.

The City is also working with Orange County to research what treatment options, if any, are available and safe with minimal biological side effects.

We have attached a link for additional information:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/cyanobacteria.html

If you should have additional questions, please email us at stormwater@cityoforlando.net.

 

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July 15, 2015 – Lake Alert Issued for Lake Daniel

The City was made aware of an unusual appearance of Lake Daniel. Although Lake Daniel has experienced periodic algal blooms, this recent bloom has a different appearance than those observed in the recent past. For this reason, the City took samples of lake water to determine the presence of toxins.  As a result of this bloom, we are asking everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Daniel until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water. These blooms are caused by low-flowing,warm water and excessive nutrients that can come from a combination of fertilizers, septic tanks, yard waste and pet waste. Blue-green algae can pose a health concern based on its ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains.  Even blooms caused by known toxin-producing species may not produce toxins or may produce toxins at undetectable levels.

 The City had the water tested for microcystins (toxins). The sample taken on 07/15/15 came back with toxin levels considered to be unsafe for pets, swimming, and other recreational uses per guidelines set forth by leading health organizations.  Because of the potential for harm, the City will begin performing weekly microcystin testing until the algae bloom declines and toxin levels become undetectable.  The City will keep the Lake Alert in place until conditions are deemed to be safe. Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at cityoforlando.net/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Daniel directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice. Please be aware that as the algae dies, a “musty” or other unpleasant odor may occur.

The City is also researching what treatment options, if any, are available and safe with minimal biological side effects.

We have attached a link for additional information:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/cyanobacteria.html

If you should have additional questions, please email us at stormwater@cityoforlando.net.

 

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July 9, 2015 – Lake Alert Issued for Lake Fairhope

The City observed a severe algae bloom occurring on Lake Fairhope while performing our routine quarterly water quality sampling. Although Lake Fairhope has experienced periodic algal blooms, this recent bloom has a different appearance than those observed by City staff in past years. For this reason, the City took samples of lake water to identify the types of algae present. There is at least one type of cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae) present in the bloom. More specifically, Microcystis. As a result of this bloom, we are asking everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Fairhope until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water. These blooms are caused by low-flowing,warm water and excessive nutrients that can come from a combination of fertilizers, septic tanks, yard waste and pet waste. Blue-green algae can pose a health concern based on its ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains.

The City had the water tested for microcystins (toxins). The sample taken on 07/08/15 came back with toxin levels considered to be unsafe for pets, swimming, and other recreational uses per guidelines set forth by leading health organizations. Because of the potential for harm, the City will begin performing weekly microcystin testing until the algae bloom declines and toxin levels become undetectable. The City will keep the Lake Alert in place until conditions are deemed to be safe. Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at cityoforlando.net/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Fairhope directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice. Please be aware that as the algae dies, a “musty” or other unpleasant odor may occur.

The City is also researching what treatment options, if any, are available and safe with minimal biological side effects.

We have attached a link for additional information:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/cyanobacteria.html

If you should have additional questions, please email us at stormwater@cityoforlando.net.

 

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What is a Lake Alert?

Lake Alerts are notifications posted, recorded or emailed when a City lake has a water quality concern. These notifications include the type of water quality hazard and severity of it. It also alerts the public when the water body is safe again for recreational purposes. Notifications will be posted on this page, recorded at 407.246.2220 and emailed to those who sign up to receive Lake Alerts in their inbox.

1. WARM WATER WARNINGS: 

Avoid Naegleria fowleri and primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)

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 borne infections:

  • Avoid swimming in very warm water, especially if it is shallow and/or stagnant (not moving). The majority of PAM cases have resulted from exposure to water that is 26°C (80°F) or warmer.
  • Avoid taking in water through the nose while swimming, diving, water skiing or jumping into water. A nose clip can be used to prevent water being forced up the nose.
  • Stay out of the water if “No Swimming” signs are posted.
  • Do not swim in swimming pools that are very warm or that are not properly maintained, even if the water is chlorinated. Naegleria fowleri is resistant to chlorine.

2. BLUE-GREEN ALGAE BLOOMS:
Know the facts about health concerns related to blue-green algae exposure

Blue-green algae are simple plants that appear 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 an 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 swallowed, toxic algae 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:

algae-1algae-2

Appears as green paint spill on surface or appears as spongy green mat on surface.

For additional information visit the Florida Department of Health’s Website.

 

3. 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 purposes.

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 water.

 

 

If you should have additional questions, please email us at stormwater@cityoforlando.net.

 

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