Warning to be mindful of the water at Frances Slocum State Park

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KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Frances Slocum State Park has confirmed a cyanobacteria bloom in the water, commonly called blue algae. Officials do not expect the bloom to affect humans, but it can be harmful and even deadly to animals, specifically dogs.

The summer heat is slowly disappearing and people are taking advantage of the last warm days of the year by being outdoors at Frances Slocum State Park. But along with the nice weather comes a warning from officials.

“We did some lake sampling and the lake test showed higher than normal levels of cyanobacteria,” park manager Kevin Koflanovich said.

He says the park does not anticipate humans to be affected by the cyanobacteria bloom because the park does not allow swimming in the lake. But bloom can be harmful to dogs, which are allowed in the water.

“If a dog goes in and ingests the water, then there’s potential they can get sick or die,” Koflanovich said.

Typically cyanobacteria can bloom when it’s an abnormally hot summer. Koflanovich says if a dog shows symptoms of loss of energy, is stumbling and falling, or is foaming at the mouth, the dog should immediately be taken to a veterinarian.

Park officials have put notices up about the cyanobacteria bloom all around the park and it seems as though people are heeding the warnings. Debbie Bauman has been coming to camp at Frances Slocum State Park for 10 years.

“Well on the other side, on the other side of the lake we always used to see dogs you know going in the water and really having a great time. Their owners throwing balls or sticks but I haven’t seen one,” Bauman said.

Cyanobacteria is also known as blue-green algae, but Koflanovich says just because you see green algae, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cyanobacteria. Just in case, he advises people to just keep their dogs out of the water.

“If your dog happens to go into the water, it would be a good idea to rinse off the dog, prevent the dog from drinking the water, etc.,” Koflanovich said.

Officials also advise humans to keep their hands clean and avoid touching their eyes after being in contact with the water.

The Centers for Disease Control goes into even more detail about the danger of algae blooms for people and pets.

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