In the past, Lake George's Million Dollar beach has been closed due to high levels of E.coli on the beach and in the water. Now there is an algal bloom that could be harmful to swimmers or threaten local drinking water. The Department of Environmental Conservation is running tests to determine the water quality in the area.
According to News Channel 13, this harmful algal bloom was noticed on the water's surface in three different locations in the village. It was photographed near Million Dollar Beach, Shephard's Park Beach, and Hall's Marina. It is cyanobacteria that were floating on the surface. This is known as a small, short-lived harmful algal bloom.
The DEC confirmed that it was cyanobacteria just from the pictures that were sent in. They went to the sites and confirmed through lab analysis that it was, in fact, that specific bacteria. This is the third harmful algal bloom in just two years in Lake George.
The cyanobacteria are always present in New York lakes but if it rises to the surface, that usually means there is a high volume of it. It turns the lake a murky green. If the water remains stagnant, it can release harmful toxins that could threaten the lake.
Tests were run to determine whether or not the algae was toxic. After tests were conducted, it was determined that it is not at a toxic or high level. If a swimmer were to ingest some water tests showed there weren't high levels and therefore not harmful.
The DEC said of the bloom:
There are no concerns related to public drinking water regarding this bloom at this time. The DEC has confirmed yesterday that toxin levels in lake water samples were found to be below U.S. EPA’s 10-day drinking water health advisory level of 0.30 ug/L for sensitive populations.
The DEC and the Lake George Association are keeping a close eye on the algae bloom on Lake George and continue to monitor it.