FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2019
Contact: Mark Rogers
Water and Sewer Operations Manager
Harmful Algae Present at Pond Near Iams Dog Park in Bryce Davis Park
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— A water sample taken from the pond in Bryce Davis Park showed 29 micrograms per liter of microcystin. This level requires public notification and signage at the location. The pond is closed and should not be used. Do not touch or drink the water. Dry algae near the water’s edge could also contain toxins. City Parks and Recreation staff has placed signage near the pond. Iams Dog Park is located near the pond; park users should use caution with their dogs when near the pond. It is important to pick up pet waste and dispose of it in trash cans to prevent nutrient pollution of soil.
Microcycstin is an algae toxin released during decay of some algae types when present in a large group (called a “bloom”). Rain and the resulting stormwater washes landscaping fertilizers into waterways. Fertilizers contain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Bodies of water with a high nutrient content – combined with warm temperatures – encourage rapid growth of algae, creating a harmful algae bloom (HAB).
Exposure to HAB toxins occurs through skin contact, inhalation, and ingestion. Human and animal illnesses and symptoms can vary depending on how they were exposed, how long they were exposed, and which HAB toxin involved. If there is contact with the algae or water, it should be washed off immediately. Be cautious and watch for reaction symptoms. Contact a doctor or veterinarian if people or animals have nausea, rash, irritated eyes, seizures, breathing problems, or other unexplained illness. Report possible illness to the Arkansas Department of Health by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-682-0744.
Reports of new algae blooms can be relayed to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) by email email@example.com or by calling 501-280-4168.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers information about Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB)-associated illnesses at this website: https://www.cdc.gov/habs
The Environmental Protection Agency provides information about nutrient pollution and harmful algae blooms at this website: https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/harmful-algal-blooms
City officials remind residents and businesses to be aware of materials such as fertilizers, petroleum products, detergents, pet waste, etc. that washes into our natural waterways and infrastructure during rain events. Learn more stormwater management and water quality at the City’s website here.