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Local Medina County News

Elevated toxins found in Chippewa Lake

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    Advisories have been posted about high toxin levels recorded at Chippewa Lake.

    ASHLEY FOX / GAZETTE

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CHIPPEWA LAKE — Signs at Chippewa Lake advise children, pregnant and nursing women as well as individuals with certain medical conditions to stay out of the water.

A notice about algal blooms in the lake was released this week by the Medina County Park District, and district Director Tom James said warning signs were posted Friday.

Test results from a water sample taken June 8 showed levels of 10.5 parts per billion of cyanobacteria, a microscopic organism. The Ohio Department of Health’s recommended threshold for posting a public health advisory is 6ppb, the park district said.

Cyanobacteria can produce harmful toxins, which can make people and pets sick if they come into contact with the water.

“It’s the same story as always” as to why the bloom grows, James said. Water temperature, sunshine, heavy spring rains in May and nutrients flowing from the watershed play a part in elevated toxin levels.

Village Mayor Joanne Dodaro said officials were alerted about the bloom by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency after it was detected by a satellite.

A phone message seeking comment from the Ohio EPA was not immediately returned Wednesday.

James said officials will test the water weekly “as long as the levels are above 6 (ppb).”

Should toxin levels exceed 20 ppb, the lake will be closed per Ohio Department of Health guidelines.

Last year, an algal bloom was detected after July 4, leading to an advisory in September. In early October, excessive algal blooms caused officials to close the lake. Toward the end of the month, toxins reached safe levels and restrictions were lifted in mid-December.

James said there isn’t anything anyone can do to control the bloom.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s a part of nature,” he said.

Orange advisory signs have been posted at the beaches in Gloria Glens Park and Chippewa Lake as well as at the public boat launch ramp.

Notices also have been posted at www.medinacountyparks.com, as well on social media.

For more about algal blooms, visit odh.ohio.gov.

The park district has owned the 330-acre lake since 2007. Founded in 1965, the district manages more than 6,500 acres, including parks, multiuse trails, wildlife sanctuaries, nature preserves and the Wolf Creek Environmental Center.

Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048 or afox@medina-gazette.com.



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