State officials confirm the presence of a harmful algae bloom in Spruce Run Reservoir and Swartswood Lake.
The suspected harmful algae bloom (HAB) was identified at Spruce Run Reservoir in Clinton Township, Hunterdon County on June 1 and at Swartswood Lake in Stillwater Township, Sussex County on June 6.
According to New Jersey State Park officials, there is no swimming at either location until further notice. Swimming is available at Round Valley Recreation Area and the lifeguards from Swartswood Lake have been moved to High Point State Park and New Jersey Veterans’ Memorial.
Cyanobacterial Harmful Algae 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.
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 1-877-927-6337 or use the WARN NJDEP mobile app.