Still no clean bill of health for Summit Lake — but it’s close

Summit Lake is quiet because a toxic algae bloom has made lake water unsafe.
Summit Lake is quiet because a toxic algae bloom has made lake water unsafe. sbloom@theolympian.com

The Summit Lake Community Association is forming a water quality team to develop projects and solutions as the west Thurston County community heads into the sixth week of a toxic algae bloom on the lake.

Lab results the county received Thursday show that the highest toxin levels are 1.43 micrograms, above the safe range for anatoxin-a. One microgram per liter is considered a level for health concern.

As a result, community members are still advised to avoid drinking the water or using the lake for recreational activities.

The results are a disappointment after June 8 lab results showed that toxin levels had dropped to 0.062 and all samples were within a safe range. But the county wouldn’t withdraw its restrictions until two successive tests came back at safe levels. Thursday’s results showed toxins were back at dangerous levels.

The county closed the lake on May 11 due to the toxic algae bloom.

The next round of samples will be taken Monday and results are expected to arrive by June 22.

Potable water is available to Summit Lake residents at Camp Thunderbird from 4-7 p.m. daily. The camp is at 11740 Summit Lake Road NW. Water is no longer available at the Fire Station. Residents are asked to bring their own containers to collect water. To reach the water station, turn into the parking lot with the wooden gate and park in the eastern corner of the lot.

The Strong Center, a private gym, and Discover Aquatics, a private pool, are allowing Summit Lake residents to use their shower facilities, but they are asking that residents call ahead and make an appointment. The Strong Center can be reached at 360-705-1658. Discover Aquatics can be reached at 360-867-9283.

To learn more, go to the county’s webpage at: http://bit.ly/SummitLakeAlgae

Get involved

To stay informed about the Summit Lake water quality team’s work, or to get involved, email summitlakeslca@gmail.com and ask to be put on the team’s email list.