KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Summer is back and so is toxic blue- green algae. The Washington State Department of Ecology has a new tool to make it easy to find out which lakes have it. It's an online database where you can search for your favorite lake to find out if it has toxic blue-green algae.
Blue- green algae blooms happen mostly in the summer and fall. The blooms look like green paint in the water or floating on the surface.
It is especially dangerous to children and pets. If you see anything that looks like this in a lake, don't swim in it. If you accidentally do, make sure to rinse off thoroughly.
More of this toxic algae has been blooming in lakes all around our state. Kathy Hamel, an Aquatic Plant Specialist with the Department of Ecology, says, "We're loving [the lakes] to death, more and more people are moving in around them. We have leaky septic systems. We have storm drains going into them, fertilizers on our lawns, and all of those can lead to increased algae."