Lake County beaches overloaded with algae

5:59 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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LAKE COUNTY -- Nothing says the Fourth of July quite like a picnic or a trip to the beach.  But your favorite beach could come with a warning this holiday -- "swim at your own risk."

And it's all because of algae.

Fairport Harbor, Willowick and Mentor Headlands beaches are loaded with algae. The Lake County Health District says algae in the lake is nothing new.

But when it began washing up shore, it caught the eye of Lake MetroPark workers as well as the Ohio EPA.

Read LCHD advisory, warnings, safety tips

"Sometimes there's algae in the water, sometimes that algae creates bacteria, sometimes it does not," said Paul Palagyi, interim director of park services at Lake MetroParks.

Aerial pictures snapped Monday evening shows large green bands of algae creeping ashore.

According to the Lake County Health District, preliminary tests show an elevated level of cyano-bacteria, the type of bacteria that can make you sick.

Beachgoers, like Corrine Rupp and her family, were warned.  A lifeguard approached her upon reaching the water's edge.

"She told us that there's been an algae bloom, not a restriction on going in the water yet," Rupp.

The key word being yet.  So far, the beach has only been closed to pets. People are also being advised to stay out of the water, especially children, older folks and those with compromised immune systems.


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