Earlier this month, as part of our ongoing daily sampling and testing of water in Lake Whelchel, an unusually large concentration of blue-green algae was found in the lake. The presence of algae is not unusual this time of year, especially since this winter was wet and temperatures this summer have been hot. Recently, a type of algae that occurs in fresh water and flourishes in Florida’s spring-fed waters has been detected. Lyngbya is an aggressive, large-celled, filamentous, mat forming algae. Lyngbya cells can be transferred from one water body to another by boat hulls and bilge water, and by some animal species such as geese. Our water plant is implementing additional treatment procedures to maintain normal water taste and odor until this algae is eliminated. In an effort to protect our primary water source, we have consulted with Clemson University and contracted with a company specializing in algae removal to treat and remove the Lyngbya. This process requires Lake Whelchel to be closed to boating and fishing beginning Monday, July 29, 2019 for an estimated three (3) week period. Once the Lyngbya is eliminated the lake will re-open to the public.
We want to emphasize that your drinking water is safe and there should be no odor or change in taste.