DEC: No more harmful algal blooms found at Laurel Lake

Laurel Lake

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed Laurel Lake is safe for swimming.

In May, the Suffolk County Health Department issued a warning to residents and asked them to stay out of the lake since Stony Brook University professors found high levels of cyanobacteria — also known as a blue-green algal bloom — in the water.

DEC spokesperson Lori Severino said the lake tested negative for harmful algal blooms on June 13, adding cyanobacteria is naturally present in lakes and streams.

Clear waters at Laurel Lake on Tuesday. (Credit: Krysten Massa)
Clear waters at Laurel Lake on Tuesday. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Not all blue-green algal bloom are toxic and health risks for humans typically occur when they’re exposed to high levels of cyanobacteria, county health officials said.

Waters become unsafe when larger blue-green algal blooms form and produce scum or take on a paint-like appearance, officials said, adding contact with the skin can cause a rash or irritation and swallowing highly-infested water could cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

For information, visit the county health department’s website.

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Top photo: Brian Huber fishing at Laurel Lake last year. (Credit: Laura Huber, file)