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Posted on: August 13, 2019

Char-Meck Storm Water Services Urges Caution for Potentially Toxic Blue Algae in Area Ponds

Following recent stories around the state and nation of fatal impacts on pets from recent interactions with blue green algae blooms in local ponds, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services is advising residents to be aware and cautious. 

The County warns this is the time of year we have problems with increased algal growth on local ponds.  All forms of algae threaten water quality conditions.  Some may be green or reddish brown, however, there is a variety referred to as “blue green algae” that has the added threat of producing a toxin that can be fatal to small children and pets if ingested. In the past, they have documented blue green algae in Mecklenburg County ponds but no fatalities have been reported.

Local ponds where blue green algae has been detected will have warning signs posted along the shore and will require treatment to control the algae. 

Last week at the request of the Town of Cornelius, they sampled three ponds in parks that they manage and discovered blue green algae in one of them. They have had the pond treated to control the algae and have posted warning signs along the shore.  

Storm Water Services is working with the towns to expand its algae monitoring activities to ponds on publicly owned lands where residents or their pets frequent. This will likely continue through September as they work to sample several ponds on County Park & Recreation property to determine the presence of blue green algae.

We have been advised to share any locations of concern under our control and to contact a pond management company for treatment and to post warning signs.

Neighborhoods and HOAs that oversee ponds as part of their community amenities should also be on the lookout for such algal growth and should they see algae or discolored water, assume the algae is present and inform residents to avoid contact, especially those with children and pets. 

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