FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2019 Contact:
Water and Sewer Operations Manager
Lake Fayetteville Advisory:
Recent Water Sample Tests Show Harmful Algae May Be Present
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— A class at the University of Arkansas is routinely testing water quality with samples taken from Lake Fayetteville. Recent test results show 15 micrograms per liter (g/L) of microcystin. Measurements over 10 micrograms per liter require notification to the public and appropriate organizations.
Microcycstin is an algae toxin released during decay of some algae types when present in a large group (called a “bloom”). The spring’s heavy and frequent rain storms combined with lake’s nutrient levels and recent warm temperatures have encouraged rapid growth of algae, creating an algae bloom. Rain washes landscaping fertilizers, which contain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, downstream into Lake Fayetteville.
City officials remind residents and businesses to be aware of materials such as fertilizers, petroleum products, detergents, etc. that rain washes into our natural waterways and infrastructure. Learn more stormwater management and water quality at the City’s website here
As a safety measure, visitors to Lake Fayetteville should do the following:
- avoid areas of algae accumulation
- use caution when contacting lake water and wash with clean, treated water afterwards
- not let pets eat dried algae or be in lake water since they tend to drink it
- clean fish well and properly dispose guts
A public notification, like this one, will be released when microcystin levels have diminished.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there are relatively few documented cases of severe human health effects. If inhalation or ingestion occurs by a human or pet – watch for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, rash, irritated eyes, seizures, breathing problems, or other unexplained illness and contact a doctor or veterinarian.
Lake Fayetteville Park is known as a destination for fishing, birdwatching, hiking, biking, and participating in recreational programs. The lake also serves as an education and research facility for the University of Arkansas’s Arkansas Water Resources Center
(AWRC), Springdale and Fayetteville Public Schools (Lake Fayetteville Environmental Study Center), Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership, and others.