State Officials Warn of Potential Algal Bloom in Chowan County Summer marks the start of algal bloom season

Raleigh, North Carolina

The N.C. Division of Water Resources (DWR) is urging the public to avoid contact with green or blue water, specifically in the Albemarle Sound and adjoining waterbodies, after receiving reports of discolored water observed in Edenton, Rocky Hock and Elizabeth City. Division staff are monitoring the blooms and have sent samples to the Water Sciences Section for analysis.

Cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) blooms have been occurring in the area over the past few years. Some forms of cyanobacteria 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. Algal blooms fluctuate based upon 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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