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Lake Tapps perhaps clear of toxic algae

Kevin Crum, Nicolo Ponnekanti and Tyler Olson, from left, jump off the dock into Lake Tapps last year at Allan Yorke Park in Bonney Lake. The toxic algae scare that has deterred swimming and general frolicking at Lake Tapps during the waning days of summer might be near its end.
Kevin Crum, Nicolo Ponnekanti and Tyler Olson, from left, jump off the dock into Lake Tapps last year at Allan Yorke Park in Bonney Lake. The toxic algae scare that has deterred swimming and general frolicking at Lake Tapps during the waning days of summer might be near its end. Staff file, 2015

The toxic algae scare that has deterred swimming and general frolicking at Lake Tapps during the waning days of summer might be near its end.

Public health officials visited 15 places around Lake Tapps on Thursday and found no new algae, according to Edie Jeffers, spokeswoman for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Additionally, testing of the last new algae seen by health officials, found in a small area near the Inlet Island bridge a week ago, had toxin concentrations below detection limits, Jeffers said.

No new cases of algae-related illness have been reported in people or pets exposed to the lake’s waters, and water samples taken Monday from the two public swimming beaches at the lake found low levels of bacteria.

Health officials on Aug. 18 announced a warning about getting near the waters of Lake Tapps after the first known suspected finding of toxic algae in the lake. More than a dozen people reported illnesses after swimming in the lake during mid-August.

Lab tests later found no detectable amounts of toxin from algae.

Health officials will re-examine Lake Tapps next week, Jeffers said. If no algae is found then and no new illnesses are reported, the health department’s caution advisory about swimming there will be lifted, she said.

Derrick Nunnally: 253-597-8693, @dcnunnally

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