Update - September 9, 2014 - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has removed Lake Ronkonkoma at Brookhaven Park from its list of water bodies that may contain toxic levels of blue-green algae. Residents who wish to wade or engage in recreation in these waters are advised to proceed and to use caution if they observe discolored water.
Original Release - Brookhaven, NY - September 2, 2014 - State and local government officials have confirmed the presence of a localized cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Ronkonkoma at the Brookhaven Park (former Brookhaven Town Beach).
Though cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue–green algae, are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance. Because blue-green algae can become toxic, health officials ask residents not to use or swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the affected area.
Contact with surface water that appears discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately, and if symptoms occur, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention.
To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that contains a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 852-5760.
To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom that is in a body of water that does not contain a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: (518) 402-8179.
For more information about blue-green algae, visit the Suffolk County website.