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September 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Green Lake closed to swimming for people and pets

Green Lake is closed to swimming, due to high levels of toxins in the algae. Neither people nor pets should swim, wade or play in the lake, public health officials announced Friday.

Contact with the toxins in the water can cause a rash and irritate the eyes, nose and mouth, officials say. If accidental contact occurs, promptly rinse skin. Swallowing the toxins may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and in severe cases, liver damage. If symptoms occur after swallowing lake water, park users should immediately consult a health-care professional or veterinarian. Pets are at highest risk.

The lake is still open to fishing, but health officials say fish should be cleaned thoroughly before eaten.

The warm, dry summer promoted the lake’s algae bloom, officials say.

The county conducts weekly water tests at various locations around Green Lake and scum samples are submitted through the State Toxic Algae Program.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s lifeguard beaches closed for the season Sept. 1.

Comments | Topics: algae, green lake

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