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An algae bloom at Lake Padden looked icky. But could it be harmful?

Signs posted around Lake Padden are warning park-goers about possible toxic algae.
Signs posted around Lake Padden are warning park-goers about possible toxic algae. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Signs posted around parts of Lake Padden are warning people about a blue-green algae bloom on the lake’s northern half.

The bloom – found along the rock embankment that extends roughly from the tennis court to the lake’s outlet – could be unsafe if tests determine that it’s toxic, according to Tom Kunesh, environmental health supervisor for the Whatcom County Health Department.

Test results are expected by early next week, he said.

Most blue-green algae blooms aren’t toxic. But the algae can release toxins into the water that, in high enough concentrations, can sicken humans and kill animals who drink the contaminated water.

People shouldn’t go near the blooms and should keep their pets out of the water, Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department officials said.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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