The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District, which manages Allatoona, said in a statement Wednesday that it encourages visitors to Corps property to report any water they suspect as being potentially harmful. The Corps will alert the EPD of those suspected sightings.
READ | Dog's death points to possible toxic algae bloom in Allatoona Lake
The lake is a water source for the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, which on Tuesday issued a public statement that the water is safe to drink. Its own tests for the toxic algae and other contaminants have come back negative.
Water Authority General Manager Glenn Page said additional testing will be done Friday. Lake water samples will be collected Friday from various areas around the lake, including the cove where the border collie was “exposed to the alleged algae bloom,” Page said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cyanobacteria, as the blue-green algae is also known, is a naturally occurring microscopic bacteria that grows in fresh bodies of water such as lakes and ponds. It uses sunlight to make its own food and can form blooms that spread across the water's surface.
Chambers added scientists continue to study algae blooms to understand why and when they occur. He said the algae blooms are “usually associated with hot weather,” but can occur anytime of the year.
The algae can be deadly to dogs who swallow it or lick it off their coats. In the past week, there have been news reports of 4 dogs who died — three in North Carolina and one in Texas — as a result of swimming in water with the bacteria. It can also cause health symptoms in humans who come into contact with it, including skin rashes, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.
The same algae is also showing up in Lake Olmstead in Augusta. You can learn more about algae blooms by visiting the EPD's website.
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