Algae in local reservoirs could impact health

The Blue-green algae has been found in Geist, Morse and, to a lesser extent, Eagle Creek.
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The dry weather is causing a concern on popular area waterways, a concern that could put your family at risk.

The concerns deal with what is growing in Geist and Morse Reservoirs.

The hot, dry weather has literally caused an explosion of toxic blue-green algae in Geist and at Morse reservoirs. There is so much algae that scientists tell me it far exceed World Health Organization guidelines for the high risk of adverse health effects if you're in the water.

Researchers measure Geist, Morse and Eagle Creek twice a month for algae and recently measured Geist at 100-thousand algae cells per milliliter of water which produces poisons that can affect the liver and cause skin rashes.

A lack of rain has made it worse.

Dr. Lenore Tedesco is the director of the Center of Earth and Environmental Science at IUPUI and says that the primary cause of the algae is phosphorous from lawn and agricultural fertilizer run-off.

She explained,"If I had to rank them in degree of severity of impact, it's Geist then Morse close behind. Those are pretty similar and then Eagle Creek is a lot better and probably one of the reasons Eagle Creek is better is because of Eagle Creek Park is there and a big component of that shoreline is natural and forested."

These algae blooms have caused foul tasting tap water in the past. That's not the case yet, but scientists say that if you're in the water, wash off as soon as possible and definitely don't drink the water or allow a pet to drink much. because blue-green algae is toxic and can cause liver damage .