PERU, Ind. (WANE) The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is telling people to avoid coming in contact with algae on Mississinewa Lake, but boating and swimming is still permitted.
Blue-green algae has been found following testing of water at the lake.
Blue-green algae blooms are a seasonal occurrence in some Indiana waters, fueled by heat, sunlight and fertilizer runoff from lawns and farms. Some blue-green algae produce toxins that can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation, nausea, stomachaches, and tingling fingers and toes.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management tests 14 beaches at 12 Indiana lakes on a monthly basis for blue-green algae during summer.
If high levels of algae or toxins are documented during testing, a notice is posted at algae.IN.gov and alert notices are placed on blue-green algae signs at those beaches until algae cell counts return to safe levels.
Visitors to Mississinewa Lake should avoid drinking the water and take a shower after they swim. The state also recommends at this advisory level to keep pets out of the water or, at minimum, keep them from drinking the water, and bathe them after swimming.
Mississinewa is currently the only lake in the state under any form of algae alert. An advisory is the lowest alert level. Depending on algae levels, the state also can issue a caution (which means that children and adults with compromised immune systems should avoid swimming), or close a beach.