Algae levels still high in DC area lakes

New free app provides users with current algae level readings

Nov. 23, 2019 — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CYAN mobile app is now available to Android owners, showing cyanobacteria (blue green algae) counts on the surface of lakes.

The app is available in the Google Play Store under CYAN EPA and is free to download. Once it has downloaded, users can find a lake on the map and click on it. The app will then provide a blue green algae reading.

Florence and Dunes City area residents are advised that, according to the app, the current reading is 346,736 cells per milliliter.

Any reading over 100,000 is considered a concern when a whole column (from surface to lake floor) is considered. The number, however, appears to have come down from 1,423,372 on Nov. 8.

“I do not have any idea as to accuracy of the information contained in this app, but this is more than we have had available to us in the past,” said Jamie Mills, City Recorder for Dunes City, in an email statement. “Please make sure your septic systems are operating correctly and do not allow any silt or mud to enter the lake. Both of these actions have been shown to increase blue green algae growth.”

Mills explained that it is suspected that decomposition of plant materials are also a cause.

“We know for a fact that high water temperatures are a factor,” said Mills. “The fact that water levels are so low mean water temperatures are higher. We need rain and cooler temperatures. Hopefully the upcoming weather fronts will give us some relief.”

Bottled water use is recommended for consumption until blue green algae levels drop below 100,000 and residents should not let pets drink lake water.

Particular care should be given to ensure the elderly, young children and pregnant women do not consume the water.

For more information, call Mills at 541-997-3338.


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