State Division of Water Resources officials have received reports of discolored water in Chowan County and urge the public to avoid contact with green or blue water, specifically in the Albemarle Sound and adjoining waterbodies.
Division staff announced the recommendation Wednesday to avoid contact with the discolored water in Edenton, Rocky Hock and Elizabeth City and are monitoring the blooms and have sent samples to the division’s Water Sciences Section for analysis.
Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, blooms have been occurring in the area over the past few years, and some forms of can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals.
State health officials encourage the public to avoid areas showing signs of an algae bloom, which can fluctuate depending on weather conditions and may move around collecting in coves and along shorelines.
State water quality and health officials recommend the following precautions to avoid the harmful effects of certain algae:
- Do not allow children or pets in or near water that appears bright green, blue, discolored or has visible surface film or scum. Anyone exposed should be washed with soap and clean water, including pets.
- If your child becomes ill after being in water where an algal bloom is occurring, seek medical care immediately. If your pet begins to stumble, stagger or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
- Do not handle or touch large mats of algae and avoid handling, cooking or eating fish from waters with blooms.
- To report a potential algal bloom contact the local DWR regional offices.
- For more information on potential health effects from algal blooms, visit the N.C. Division of Public Health’s website.
- To learn more about algal blooms in North Carolina, visit Division of Water Resources.
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