The ILPOA Board of Directors keeps the safety of our members as our top priority first and foremost. We have taken the initiative to test the water using a testing kit from PhycoTech after numerous observations of green slime and concerned members who posted photos on social media. Samples were taken on Wednesday, May 12th, and overnighted to the lab. We tested near the dam, outside of Cove 1, and at the Beach, and these samples were sent to an independent lab. We received the independent lab test results which we reviewed and also shared with our partners at SiS Bio to help us interpret the results. Generally speaking, the benchmark for algae should not be above 5% which was not exceeded in the 3 test locations for toxin-producing algae. Although we did limit the testing, the Board of Directors believes that these results are not isolated to these specific locations, rather are applicable to all areas of the lake.
The good news is that the species of algae that were elevated in our testing tend to not be toxin-producing, but because they were elevated, our next step is to continue with these tests every two weeks through October. Below are answers to a couple of common questions we anticipate you will have:
Finally, we have included commentary from an expert on the test results and state of our lake that we want to share with all of you:
From PhycoTech (Testing Lab)
I can tell you that the primary cyanobacteria are Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, and although it’s a big water quality and ecological issue, and very dense, it doesn’t often produce toxins. We don’t have tests for saxitoxin here, but unless you’ve had big fish kills, I don’t think you need to test for toxin yet. Be aware though, that there was a small amount of Microcystis present. It didn’t exceed any report threshold, but if the assemblage shifts, Microcystis often produces a toxin and you will have a public health problem. That’s where a monitoring program will really help you. The report has threshold limits on it and will flag at least that really dense Cove sample from yesterday, but I don’t think it’s necessary at this point.
Ann St. Amand, Ph.D., CLP
President PhycoTech, Inc.
In conclusion, the Board of Directors is actively involved in confirming the quality and safety of our water and initiating further testing to provide all with peace of mind. We strongly recommend all members use their best judgement for their safety and the safety of their family and pets.