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Toxic algae closes Spanaway Lake

Learn how scientists predict the spread of toxic algae blooms

Harmful algal blooms are blooms of species of algae that can have negative impacts on humans, marine and freshwater environments, and coastal economies. An 'Ocean Today' viday explains how scientists can predict the spread of harmful blooms.
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Harmful algal blooms are blooms of species of algae that can have negative impacts on humans, marine and freshwater environments, and coastal economies. An 'Ocean Today' viday explains how scientists can predict the spread of harmful blooms.

Spanaway Lake was closed to swimmers and pets Thursday after high levels of toxic algae were found there.

“Don’t swim, wade, water ski or fish,” in the lake, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department warned.

The full closure comes after a partial shutdown on August 8. The lake was retested on Aug. 19.

“When results came back, we found the lake had algae with very high levels of toxins,” spokesman Steve Metcalf wrote.

Metcalf said the lake will be tested again in one week.

“Even if the bloom is no longer there, the closure will remain in place for two weeks,” he said.

The algae occur in lakes naturally and look like pea soup. They produce toxins that can sicken people and pets.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.
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