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Public Health issues algae advisory at Vancouver Lake

Public Health is currently awaiting sample results from two nearby locations to determine if toxins are in the water.

VANCOUVER — Clark County Public Health has posted caution signs at Vancouver Lake due to the possible bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.

Clark County Public Health has posted caution signs at Vancouver Lake, shown here in this file photo, due to the possible bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Photo courtesy of Clark County Public Health
Clark County Public Health has posted caution signs at Vancouver Lake, shown here in this file photo, due to the possible bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Photo courtesy of Clark County Public Health

A blue-green algae bloom has not been detected at the Vancouver Lake swim beach area but suspected blooms were identified at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Public Health is currently awaiting sample results from these two locations to determine if toxins are in the water.

Public Health is advising people to watch for other blooms when recreating in the lake and to avoid direct contact with lake water in areas of floating blue-green-colored scum. Blue-green algae produce toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Health officials are recommending:

  • No swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals in areas of scum.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating.
  • Clean fish well and discard organs.

Caution signs were posted at the lake Monday afternoon and will remain at the lake as long as the bloom is active and present. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake throughout the summer, and signs will be updated as conditions change. Additional information and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open. Water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink.

Battle Ground Lake update

The beach warning at Battle Ground Lake remains in place as Public Health continues its investigation into two cases of shigellosis, a bacterial infection spread through fecal-oral transmission.

Water samples taken from the lake on Friday did not show elevated levels of bacterial contamination. Additional samples were taken from the lake today, and results should be back later this week. If the results from the second round of tests show acceptable water quality, and no additional cases of illness are reported, the warning will be lifted.

The two shigellosis cases were reported to Public Health on Friday. Public Health posted warning signs at the swim beach on Friday afternoon, after identifying Battle Ground Lake as a possible source of the infection.

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