MONROE, Conn. — The Lake Zoar Authority has issued a public health warning that blue-green algae is likely to present a threat to swimmers and pets this summer on the lake.
The threat level is contingent on the summer weather. A dry season intensifies the toxicity, but a rainy climate diminishes the hazard, diluting the presence of the bacteria-like growth.
Exposure in high levels is a suspected cause of illness as severe as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in humans—a neurodegenerative disease--and can be fatal to pets and livestock.
The algae floats on the surface of the water and looks like green paint. Runoff from fertilizer, chemicals and waste elevates the pollution.
Gary Fillion of Newtown, replacing Ray Hoesten this season as chairman of the Lake Zoar Authority, reported the algae was detected two seasons ago and its presence grew substantially last season.
Also, the authority’s two police patrol boats are being prepared for the Memorial Day weekend start of the 2017 recreational season.
Four communities share the 909-acre lake — Newtown, Monroe, Oxford and Southbury.