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Posted on: October 7, 2021

Recreational Watch Issued By DHEC

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has issued a recreational water advisory for a portion of Lake Wylie in York County after DHEC detected the presence of a harmful algal bloom (HAB).

As part of DHEC’s routine monitoring of natural water bodies throughout the state, a water sample was collected and tested on September 28 with the results indicating that microcystins, which are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae), are present along the shoreline in coves on Lake Wylie, at greater than 10 micrograms per liter (ug/L, or parts per billion). This is greater than the state’s water quality standard of 8 ug/L. Cyanobacteria has been identified throughout these coves, but the area of the advisory that exceeds the recreational value is located along the shoreline. 

As a result of this detection, a recreational watch for coves in Tega Cay and Lake Wylie has been issued. Cyanobacteria was found at bloom levels in several coves, but the toxin levels were below the State standards.

Recreational watches have been advised for coves in Tega Cay. Cyanobacteria has been found at bloom levels in coves within the City, but the toxin levels are below the State standards. These watches do not include the open water portions of Lake Wylie. The watches can be seen on the HAB viewer at the link below.

“Until further notice, no one should swim, wade or come into contact with any discolored water or scum, foam or algae in Lake Wylie ,” said Bryan Rabon, DHEC’s Manager Aquatic Science Programs with the Bureau of Water.

DHEC has been coordinating and communicating with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Mecklenburg County Stormwater and Duke Energy.
DHEC advises any fish taken from Lake Wylie in areas of these blooms should be thoroughly rinsed before consumption.
Individuals are advised to seek medical attention if they or their family members are experiencing illness after coming into contact with the water.

Pets and livestock may also be vulnerable to adverse health effects of microcystins at the level detected in Lake Wylie. Contact a veterinarian immediately if animals show signs of illness after coming into contact with water in an advisory area.

DHEC will post updated information when the microcystin level is less than the state water quality standard and this advisory is lifted, or if there are changes to the conditions of this recreational advisory.

For more information, please contact DHEC’s Bureau of Water at (803) 898-8374. If calling after hours, please leave a message.

HAB Viewer
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