Elevated warning issued for Champaign Co. lake toxic algae levels

UPDATE @ 12:57 p.m. (July 3)

Kiser Lake in Champaign County is now under an Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory for algal bloom toxins, after a sample result from June 28 indicated an increasing number of microcystin. This elevated advisory began June 29.

Grand Lake St. Marys in Auglaize County remains under an Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory, and has been for over a year. A sample result from June 19 indicates a growing rate of E. coli, according to the Ohio Department of Health's Beach Guard website.

The final public health advisory for algal bloom is at Buckeye Lake in Fairfield County. The rate of E. coli has been on the decline there, according to sample results from early June and late June.


Ohio lakes face the threat of toxic algae again this summer as six bodies of water have already posted advisories warning swimmers to take caution or stay out altogether.

Advisories for Kiser Lake in Champaign County, Grand Lake St. Marys in Auglaze County and Buckeye Lake in Fairfield County indicate that an algae bloom has been detected, and the Ohio Department of Health says swimming and wading aren’t recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, those with certain medical conditions and pets.

RELATED: Health advisory posted at Kiser Lake due to algae bloom

Any level detected higher than 6 ppb prompts a health advisory, state officials said. If detected levels reach 20 ppb, the health department recommends residents avoid all contact with the water, according to information from the state.

The lowest level advisory, given for bacteria contamination rather than algae levels, has been issued for parts of Lake Erie, the Little Miami River and Lake Logan.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will continue to monitor the water, said Matt Eiselstein, a spokesman for ODNR. Once officials pull two samples below 6 ppb, the health advisory will be lifted.

RELATED: After 4 days, Caesar Creek Lake beach advisory for E. coli lifted

Environmental regulators are redoubling their efforts to reduce algae by consolidating the groups that oversee the cut down on it.

A proposal brought by Gov. John Kasich and approved by the state legislature last week would put the Ohio Lakle Erie Commission in charge of making sure the state reaches a goal of 40 percent reduction of phosphorus going into Western Lake Erie within the next 10 years, according to the Associated Press.

Ohio and nearby states have tried to reduce algae by asking farmers to take voluntary steps to prevent fertilizer from flowing into Lake Erie’s tributaries. But, the AP reports that environmental groups doubt those voluntary measures will be enough to prevent dangerous algae blooms that threaten drinking water and wildlife.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Health advisory posted at Kiser Lake due to algae bloom

Below are the threat levels at lakes and rivers as of Tuesday morning:

Kiser Lake in Champaign County

State officials posted a recreational health advisory at Kiser Lake State Park in Champaign County on Friday, alerting residents after sampling showed high levels of algal toxins. It was the second time in recent years that a public health advisory has been posted at the popular recreational beach due to high levels of microsystin, a toxin produced by the algae.

Grand Lake St. Marys Camp, Main East, Main West, Windy Point

Buckeye Lake in Fairfield County, Crystal Beach

Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina is under an even higher level advisory. The state issued an “elevated” public health advisory meaning that people should “avoid all contact with the water” because algal toxins have been detected at an unsafe level, according to the state’s “BeachGuard” website.

Buckeye Lake, near Columbus, is under the same advisory as Grand Lake St. Marys, according to the state. The advisory was issued on Friday.

Lake Erie in Erie, Ottawa, Chyahoga and Lake counties

Little Miami River in Clermont County

Lake Logan in Hocking County

Beaches for Lake Erie, the Little Miami River and Lake Logan all have health advisories for bacteria rather than algae levels. The three bodies of water have the lowest level of safety advisories out right now.

The yellow advisory for Lake Erie was given because bacteria levels have reached an unsafe level and could make people sick, according to the state. The elderly, children and those in poor health are advised not to swim.

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