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Long Island

Algae blooms in Lake Ronkonkoma, Southampton pond, officials say

Two new blue-green algae blooms have erupted in Lake Ronkonkoma and a Southampton pond, officials said Friday.

Caused by cyanobacteria, these blooms can sicken people and pets.

Suffolk County health officials in a statement advised people to avoid contact with water that is discolored or contains scums.

SUNY Stony Brook confirmed the new blooms in Lake Ronkonkoma in the Town of Brookhaven, off Pond Road, and in Southampton’s Mill Pond.

The new blooms, which also can turn the water green, yellow, brown or red, double the number of contaminated water bodies in Suffolk.

They already have been found in Mattituck’s Maratooka Pond and Southampton’s Agawam Lake, officials said.

The blue-green algae that had been found in Wickapogue Pond and Wainscott Pond has subsided.

Anyone exposed to the contaminated water should wash it off immediately with fresh water. They also should consult health care professionals if they experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, officials said.

Bodies of water that appear contaminated and where the county does not allow swimming should be reported to the Division of Water at New York state DEC by emailing habsinfo@dec.ny.gov or calling 518-402-8179 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If blue-green algae appears in a body of water where the county has allowed swimming, it should be reported to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology by emailing scdhsweb@suffolkcountyny.gov or calling 631-852-5760, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The full list of algae-infested water bodies is at the DEC’s Harmful Algal Bloom Notification Page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html

Suffolk’s website also has more information at http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/MarineWaterQualityMonitoring/HarmfulAlgalBlooms/Cyanobacteria.aspx

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