Beware the Bloom! BlueGreen Water Technologies Launches Awareness Campaign

March 15, 2024
“Our Beware the Bloom! campaign aims to educate everyone about the dangers so families and their pets can stay safe.”    — Jan Spin, President of Americas

Beware the Bloom! As the weather warms up, a cool dip in the lake sounds oh-so-nice, but beware of harmful algal blooms. Harmful algae season is already heating up, fueled by yet another warmer-than-normal winter in parts of the U.S. Outbreaks of toxic algae are prompting early warnings from coast to coast.

BlueGreen’s Beware the Bloom! campaign raises awareness about the dangers of toxic algae, arming people with information to identify and avoid harmful algal blooms. Read on to learn the signs of a potentially toxic bloom – and when in doubt, stay out!

“BlueGreen’s primary mission is to make water safe,” said Jan Spin, President of Americas, BlueGreen. “We want to ensure that everyone knows the health and environmental risks posed by harmful algae. Our Beware the Bloom! campaign aims to educate everyone about the dangers so families and their pets can stay safe.”

Fueled by excess nutrients and warmer temperatures, cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can multiply rapidly and form blooms. These eruptions often produce dangerous toxins that can sicken people and pets, threaten drinking water supplies, drive down property values, and hurt businesses, livelihoods, and local economies.

Harmful blooms are increasing in frequency and intensity worldwide. A recent study published in the journal Nature Water examined 2,804 lakes across the U.S. over ten years to determine how a warming climate impacts concentrations of cyanobacterial toxins. Researchers found higher temperatures consistently increase the likelihood of toxins, particularly in water temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Early detection and treatment are critical to reduce health risks and preserve aquatic ecosystems.

BlueGreen’s Beware the Bloom! campaign launched in conjunction with World Water Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of access to safe water for all. World Water Day has been celebrated every year since 1993. The annual UN observance raises awareness of the 2 billion + people living without access to safe water.

“World Water Day is a reminder that access to water is an intrinsic human right,” said Spin. “Harmful algal blooms are a global problem, suffocating water bodies and jeopardizing water quality. BlueGreen has successfully treated hundreds of water bodies on multiple continents, restoring their health and preserving biodiversity.”

“Unfortunately toxic algae is now a year-round occurrence. We hope Beware the Bloom! helps everyone make informed decisions, not just during prime harmful algae season, but any time they are near a body of water.”

Beware the Bloom! Tips for protecting your family and pets from harmful algal blooms:

  • Know before you go. Check for advisories before you head to the lake and avoid contact with the water when warnings are posted.
  • If the water is discolored, smells bad, or has foam or scum on the surface, leave immediately.
  • Do not fish, boat, or play water sports when harmful algae are present.
  • Do not wash dishes or camping gear in water bodies.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food.
  • Immediately rinse exposed skin with clear water.
  • Keep pets out of the water.
  • Do not let pets drink lake or pond water.
  • Examine the shoreline for evidence of dried algal blooms. Dead blooms may still contain toxins that can be fatal to your pet.
  • Wear gloves and rinse animals immediately after contact with infected water.
  • When in doubt, stay out!

To identify harmful algal blooms:

  • Harmful algal blooms can occur in fresh, salt, or brackish water
  • Water color appears bright green, blue-green, or red.
  • Water body has slimy plants, foam, scum, or mats floating on the surface.
  • Smells musty, fishy, or like rotten eggs, septic, or gasoline.

Symptoms of exposure can occur that day or within a few days, including:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin, eye, nose, or throat irritation
  • Dizziness, muscle weakness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dark urine and yellowing around the eyes

Getting Help for Pets:
Contact your local veterinarian immediately if your pet is experiencing symptoms.
In the event the veterinarian can’t be reached, contact ASPCA Animal Poison at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661.

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