On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) responded to reports that harmful algae blooms may be present at Lake Allatoona.
The USACE is working in conjunction with the health departments of Bartow County and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to address concerns from the public.
GA DNR’s Environmental Protection Division dispatched an environmental testing team to take water samples for algal testing on August 12th.
What are Cyanobacteria?
According to the GA State Environmenta Protection Divison: “Cyanobacteria are commonly referred to as blue green algae. They occur naturally in waters used for recreation, fishing, and drinking water.
“Under certain circumstances, these algae may grow rapidly to form dense accumulations known as blooms. When blooms are formed by toxin-producing bacteria, it is generally referred as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). These blooms are considered harmful because they could produce irritants and/or toxins, called cyanotoxins, which can pose health risks to humans and animals.
“The presence of cyanobacteria does not necessarily mean that cyanotoxins are being produced. Microscopic identification should be performed to determine if the algal species can produce toxins. Cyanotoxins may be present both before and after cyanobacteria are observed.”
USACE Mobile District’s Chief of Public Affairs Cesar Yabor is quoted as saying, “We take public safety concerns seriously and appreciate the support from our partners at GA DNR. We are currently standing by to receive test results from the Environmental Protection Division.”
The public is encouraged to always use caution while recreating at Allatoona Lake. For information on risks and precautions regarding harmful algal blooms, please visit GA DNR’s website: https://epd.georgia.gov/harmful-algal-blooms