For Immediate Release

June 15, 2018

Normal Boating Activity Resumes at Chippewa Lake, but Warning Remains in Effect

An Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory for Chippewa Lake has been lifted and normal boating activity may resume, after levels of algal toxins dropped below 20 parts per billion in two consecutive weekly water tests. However, a Recreational Public Health Advisory remains in place, warning children, pregnant or nursing women, individuals with certain medical conditions, and pets to avoid contact with the water.

Samples collected June 12 indicated microcystin levels of 18.1 ppb. This follows test results showing levels of 11.7 ppb on June 5 and levels of 21.2 ppb on May 29.

Per Ohio’s Harmful Algal Bloom Response Strategy for Recreational Waters, a Recreational Public Health Advisory is issued when toxin levels reach 6 ppb. It warns vulnerable persons as well as pets to avoid contact with the water. When toxin levels reach 20 ppb, an Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory is issued, warning all persons and pets to avoid all contact with the water, and boating activity is limited to an idle-speed, no-wake basis. Warnings stay in effect until two consecutive tests taken at least one week apart show levels have dropped below these thresholds.

Algal blooms occur due to a combination of factors including water temperature, rainfall, and nutrient runoff within the watershed. The Chippewa Lake algal bloom is the result of a microscopic organism called cyanobacteria. Its blooms can produce harmful toxins that may make people and pets sick when they come into contact with the water.

In early May, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency notified the park district that satellite imagery indicated the presence of an algal bloom in Chippewa Lake. The park district has conducted weekly water tests since receiving notification.