RALEIGH – The public is being urged to avoid contact with green or blue water in the Chowan River caused by an algal bloom about 12 miles upstream from Edenton, North Carolina Division of Water Resources announced Tuesday.
The bloom, which has lingered in the area since June 20, can easily move to other areas.
Staff with the agency’s water sciences program have identified the bloom species as Dolichospermum, a member of the blue-green family of algae. Algal blooms of this type usually appear bright green, according to the press release. When a bloom begins to decay, the color may change to a milky blue with the decaying algae producing a strong, foul odor.
Though North Carolina has had no reports of adverse health effects in people associated with this algal bloom, state health officials routinely encourage the public to avoid contact with large accumulations of algae and prevent children and pets from swimming or ingesting water in an algal bloom.
Officials recommend the following steps to help safeguard pets and children from any algal bloom:
- Keep children and pets away from water that appears bright green, blue, discolored or scummy.
- Do not handle or touch large mats of algae.
- Avoid handling, cooking or eating dead fish that may be present.
- If you are exposed to water where an algal bloom is occurring, wash thoroughly.
- Use clean water to rinse off pets that have been exposed to water where an algal bloom is occurring.
- If your child appears ill after being in water where an algal bloom is occurring, seek medical care immediately.
- If your pet appears to stumble, stagger or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.