Toxic Blue Green Algae &
Surface Water Users
We are providing you with a link to a website where you can download an information pamphlet entitled
Blue-Green Algae Blooms” so that you can make decisions
about when and how to avoid toxic blue-green algae blooms
in lake water if you use the lake for residential use or recreation
activities. (If you are on a public water system please contact
the manager of the system for questions). Please also note
Predicitability of blooms
Although blooms can occur anytime, they are more common
in warmer summer/fall weather. They may follow a heavy rainfall
event after a long dry period (i.e. many nutrients are washed
into the lake from storm water).
- Blooms can cover large or small portions of the lake.
- Blooms move from day to day due to wind/currents.
- There can be multiple blooms on the lake at one time at
varying stages of maturity.
- Blooms can change from non-toxic to toxic.
The Whatcom County Health Department will not be testing
for toxic blooms because it is:
- Difficult due to the changing nature of the blooms (see
- Time consuming
- Often inconclusive due to the changing nature of the blooms
* Boiling or chlorinating water will not make the water safe.
Lake Samish, like any surface body of water, will always
be subject to contamination and the Health Department does
not promote the use of surface water as a private domestic
supply. If you see a blue-green algae bloom please follow
the advice provide in the pamphlet and notify your neighbors
to their presence.
If you have any further questions please contact us:
Whatcom County Health Department
Drinking Water Program, Environmental Health Division
Phone: (360) 676-6724