ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has issued a Health Warning for the presence of blue-green algae in Caywood Pond – SW Dock. This is in response to a site visit and water sample taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on 7/20/2023.
The public should be cautious in and around Caywood Lake – the SW Dock.
Blooms have the potential to produce toxins, and what drives them to do so is poorly understood. For this reason, it is important to be careful, because the blooming conditions are dynamic and may change at any time. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) collects algae samples from reported bloom sites for toxin analysis. Once completed, the results will be posted on the BDEP Algal Flower Paneland it can also be seen on the Defending Florida together website, where you can register to be informed of the latest conditions.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- We do not recommend that you swim, hike, use a personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where a bloom is visible
- Avoid getting water in your eyes, nose or mouth
- You should keep pets and livestock away from the waters in this location
- Fillets from healthy fish caught in flowering freshwater lakes are safe to eat. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, discard the entrails and cook fish well
- You should not eat shellfish from this site
What is blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria common in Florida’s freshwater environments. Blooms occur when the rapid growth of algae causes an accumulation of individual cells that discolor the water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors. Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Flowers can appear all year round but are more frequent in summer and autumn. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.
Is it harmful?
Blue-green algae blooms can affect human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals. For more information on the potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.
Get current information about Florida’s water quality status and public health notices regarding harmful algal blooms and beach conditions by visiting protectingFloridaTogether.gov. Defending Together Florida is the state’s collective effort to provide water quality information statewide to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.
What do I do if I see an algal bloom?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to FDEP, call the toll-free hotline at 855-305-3903 or report online.
To to report a fish kill, please contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.
Report symptoms from exposure to a harmful algal bloom or any aquatic toxin to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a poison specialist immediately.
Contact your vet if you believe your pet is ill after coming into contact with water contaminated with blue-green algae.
If you have other health questions or concerns about a blue-green algae bloom, call the Florida Department of Health in Orange County Call Center at 407-723-5004.
About the Florida Department of Health
The Department is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Boardworks to protect, promote and improve the health of everyone in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.