Algae blooms causing harm to people, pets
The Star Tribune had a story today online headlined "Did algae that killed dog also sicken child?" i know there's a certain consensus on the use of questions on headlines, but that's a different story.
There's this weird form of algae called blue-green algae that blooms in shallow lakes that get a lot of runoff, which puts more phosphorus and nitrogen in these lakes. It apparently smells awful (of course. it's got runoff from dairy farms. cows. methane. you get the picture.) swimming in this stuff can irritate your skin and eyes, make you vomit severely, or sometimes die, like the little yellow lab in Wright County that died a couple weeks ago.
Now, The Minneapolis Pollution Control Agency is wondering if this boy in Blue Earth County swam in similar stuff. He's not dead, but he did get sick. Star Tribune reporter Tim Harlow said "Health officials have not specified the nature of the illness or whether there is a direct link between the child's illness and the toxic algae."
but, even so, the MPCA has started closing little lakes they think are at risk. Wright, Blue Earth, McLoed, Kandiyohi, and Douglas counties are the singled-out counties by the MPCA.
Unfortunately, The Pioneer Press had nothing about this story on its Web site.
The St. Cloud Times ran a story on this two weeks ago when the dog died.
I found out there that the dog was swimming in and drinking from Fountain Lake near Montrose. Apparently blue-green algae typically becomes more of a problem later in the summer, when the temps are higher.