SALEM, N.J. - Health officials are warning the public to avoid contact with water at several Salem County Lakes that have been impacted by dangerous algae blooms.
Water monitoring sampling conducted by New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection confirmed the presence of a Harmfaul Algal Bloom.
The blue-green algae, known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic bacteria found in lakes, streams, ponds and areas where saltwater and freshwater meet. These bacteria can cause significant harm to people, pets and livestock who come into contact with or swim in contaminated water.
Though the algae can form “blooms” which give the water a blue-green, murky appearance, blue-green algae can still be present in water that looks completely clear.
Health effects can include rashes, allergy-like reactions, flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis, respiratory irritation and eye irritation. Exposure to a Harmful Algal Bloom that is actively producing cyanotoxins may result in more serious health effects, including liver toxicity and neurological effects.
The waters of concern include:
- Memorial Lake | Woodstown
- East Lake | Pilesgrove
- Avis Mill Pond | Pilesgrove
- Daretown Lake | Daretown
- Slabtown Lake | Pilesgrove
- Elmer Lake | Elmer
- All parts of Salem River between Daretown and Memorial lakes
Officials will continue to monitor water quality through visual surveillance.
To report a suspected Harmful Algal Bloom, residents may call the NJDEP Hotline at 1-877-927-6337.