Harmful algal bloom confirmed in Budd Lake

MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Township and state officials confirm the presence of a harmful algal bloom in Budd Lake.

“On November 15, a suspected harmful algal bloom (HAB) was identified at Budd Lake in Mt Olive Twp. After samples were taken that same day and analyzed, it was determined that the HAB was present and posed a danger for exposure. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection press director, Robert Geist said.

Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms can discolor the water or produce floating mats or “scums” on surface. Dissolved oxygen rises when algae or cyanobacteria are in the growth state and respiring, and decreases when algae continue to respire at night. During significant blooms, extreme depletion of oxygen may be detrimental to fish and other aquatic organisms. Cyanobacteria are naturally present in lakes and streams and, can form both toxic (harmful) and non-toxic blooms.

“Going forward, our Bureau of Freshwater and Biological Monitoring program is working with the Mt Olive Health Dept. and recommends continued surveillance until bloom subsides below NJ Health Advisory Guidance Levels,” Geist said.

“Extended cold weather should knock the bloom back,”  New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection press officer Larry Hajna said.

The Mount Olive Health Department posted a warning at Budd Lake stating, “Danger/ High Risk – No Contact and Ingestion (Humans and Animals) A confirmed Harmful Algal Bloom is present with levels quantified at or above the NJ  Health Advisory Guidance. There should be no contact with the water including, but not limited to, swimming, wading, and watersports. Fish caught in this waterbody should not be eaten. Pets and livestock should not contact or ingest the water.”

When a suspicious bloom is observed, people are advised to avoid it and report it by following these steps:

  • Avoid contact with water in the vicinity of the bloom, especially in areas where the bloom is dense and forms scums;
  • Do not drink or consume the water;
  • Do not eat fish from the waterbody;
  • Keep pets and livestock away from the water;
  • Do not allow animals to drink the water, eat dried algae, or groom themselves after coming into contact with the water;
  • People, pets and livestock that come into contact with a bloom should rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible;
  • Seek medical attention or a veterinarian if a person or animal is experiencing adverse health effects after exposure to a bloom.

To report a suspected harmful algal bloom, call the NJDEP Hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP or use the WARN NJDEP mobile app.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook

(Jay Edwards | For WRNJ)