High concentration of toxins in Lake Elsinore puts lake on temporary closure

High concentration of toxins in Lake Elsinore puts lake on temporary closure

The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) has informed the city of Lake Elsinore about presence of toxins in the Lake Elsinore. As a result, the city issued warning to public to avoid all kinds of recreational activities in the lake until comes the next public notice over the issue.

The toxins found in the lake have surpassed recommended recreational health thresholds caused by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. The SCCWRP has been monitoring Lake Elsinore every other week because increasing concerns about lake after events of severe drought in Southern California and rapidly declining water levels.

Blue-green algae can be found present in most freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems. However, the concern arises when the algae grows excessively causing algae bloom that mainly are harmful. Recently collected samples from lake revealed that there is high density of cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a and microsystins in the lake water.

All of these toxins are dangerous when present at high level, as in the case of the lake. They cause harm to people, pets and livestock. When someone is exposed to toxic algae it results into rashes, skin or eye irritation, allergic reactions or gastrointestinal problems. For dog, the exposure could be deadly.

Recently, lake experienced severe algae bloom, which may have increased the concentration of harmful toxins in the water. Algae blooms are common in Lake Elsinore and other natural water bodies around the country. There is concern regarding blue-green algae all over the country, especially in recent years.

Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County, Lake Temescal in Oakland, and Discovery Bay in the Delta are some of the water bodies closed for use.