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Hess Lake in Newaygo Co. has tested positive for a harmful algal bloom

File photo of algal bloom in lake
State of Michigan
File photo of algal bloom in lake

Bodies of water that contain algal blooms often appear scummy or have a green shade to them

The Michigan District Health Department Number 10 confirms that a harmful algal bloom has been found in Newaygo County’s Hess Lake.

In speaking with WGVU, Environmental Health Supervisor for DHD #10 Meghan Stih said samples were collected by the agency after the bloom was first reported on June 26th. Those samples were sent for testing to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which confirmed the findings.

Algal blooms can form when there are high levels of nutrients within a body of water coupled with warm temperatures.

Stih said that not all algal blooms are harmful, but the results from this particular bloom have classified them as such. She went on to say that bloom toxins can be hazardous to aquatic life, pets, and humans, so it is important to avoid areas where blooms have been identified.

Bodies of water that contain algal blooms often appear scummy or have a green shade to them, much like slime or split pea soup.

DHD #10

Stih says the agency posted signs around the public boat launch on Hess Lake to notify visitors to avoid contact with the water. It’s also planning on testing the water weekly to verify when it’s safe for residents and pets to access the lake again.

EGLE's harmful algal bloom website: https://www.michigan.gov/egle/about/organization/water-resources/glwarm/harmful-algal-blooms

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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