Central New York, Health, Public Safety

Algae blooms in Hiawatha Lake

A sign board at Hiawatha Lake. (c) Eshalaxmi Barlingay 2017


By Eshalaxmi Barlingay SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Harmful Algae Blooms(HABs) are been found in the lakes of the state of New York. The Department of Environmental Conservation(DEC) has detected 39 Lakes in New York with serious blue-green algae, one of which lies in the Onondaga County.

The Hiawatha Lake is known for fishing and swimming. Based in the Onondaga Park, the place is a popular hang-out spot for people living in the Southwest side of Syracuse. It is a man-made lake which requires constant maintenance.

The lake has been the victim of blue-green algae since past year. The algae is said to be a bacteria, Cyanobacteria, which is naturally found in lakes. They are triggered due to excess sunlight, warmth, low-water and change in weather.

These HABs can cause serious health issues like irritation, vomiting and allergies to humans and animals.

People visiting the lake are disappointed and say that the lake looks bad. “On a hot day, it smells because its stagnant. There’s no fresh water going into it. It’s dirty water. You can see the film on top of the water”, said a resident of the area.

Considering the seriousness of the issue, the City’s Parks Department has issued a ban on fishing, swimming and pets near the lake. They have also installed sign boards to inform the people about presence of blue-green algae.

Hiawatha lake due to blue-green algae. (c) Eshalaxmi Barlingay 2017