Thursday, January 15, 2015

No Water Access At Magnuson Off-Leash Area

Seattle Parks and Recreation sent out this news release:
Toxic algae scum spotted in Lake Washington
As a precaution, Seattle Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed access to the water at the Magnuson Park dogs off-leash area.
Toxic algae has been found in accumulated scum in Lake Washington along the shores of the off-leash area. Toxic algae blooms are most common in the summer and fall, but can occur any time. 
King County Department of Natural Resources collected water samples and submitted them to the State Toxic Algae Program. The information was reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County. Tests have revealed that the toxins are currently found in the scummy algae that accumulate in some places along the shore. 
In general, people and pets should not wade or play in the lake where the scum has accumulated and dogs should not drink from the lake in these areas. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae. Out of an abundance of caution, Parks closed beach/water access in the off-leash area until it is deemed safe for dogs to swim and play in the water. 
For more information on toxic algae and symptoms of toxic poisoning, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.

And Brian Judd, Manager of Seattle Parks and Recreation also shared this information:
Because of the nature of the algae blooms (they move based on wind and lake conditions), it is very difficult to determine the extent of the bloom at any location for any given time. This poster has a link to which is the location to go and see the most recent samples and locations. It gets updated when new samples come in. 
Until this issue is resolved, it is very important to keep your pets away from the dog beach and the water. Algal blooms that are toxic can poison animals, wildlife, and people. If your pet has been exposed to the water at the dog park, please make sure that they do not lick their fur and rinse them with clean water. Then, rinse your hands and any exposed skin. 
Blooms appear as foam, scum, or streaks on the surface of water and can be green, blue, red, or brown in color. Dogs that are exposed to toxic algae can show severe signs within minutes to hours. Watch for signals such as low energy, weakness, not eating, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, stumbling, paralysis, seizures, or tremors. 
If your pet becomes ill, call your veterinarian immediately. Also, please report animal poisonings to your local health department. You can also notify the Washington Department of Health at: 360.236.3330.


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