Friday, June 13, 2014

Toxic Algae in Piles Fork Creek

Received a press release from Kevin Baity's office this evening:

The City of Carbondale is issuing a skin contact and toxicity alert for the water in Evergreen Reservoir and in Piles Fork Creek. At approximately 11am today, staff was alerted that the water in Piles Fork Creek was turning a bluish color in isolated areas. Investigations found the area of initial concern to be between Evergreen Reservoir on Pleasant Hill Road and South Wall Street near Grand Avenue.

Samples were immediately gathered and laboratory testing is currently being completed. Initial results indicate natural forming toxic algae may be present. Additional samples are being taken, prepared and testing will be completed next week by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The public is advised and warned to keep yourself, your children and your pets out of Evergreen Reservoir and Piles Fork Creek and to avoid all contact with the water. The absence of the bluish color does not mean the water is clean as the algae is slow moving and may have already moved through the area or dissipated causing the water to return to a clear state. The algae deplete the oxygen level in the water thereby causing fish and other water living animals and organisms to die.

Human exposure to the water may result in skin rashes. Animals swimming in or drinking the water may become sick with potentially fatal consequences.

The drinking water supply for the City of Carbondale and its satellite water districts is safe and not affected as the supply comes from Cedar Lake and not Evergreen Reservoir.

Additional information will be passed along as laboratory testing is completed.

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