July 19, 2011
County DOH Monitoring Beach Daily
County Executive: Toxin Levels No Longer a Public Health Risk
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente announced that water samples collected by the Health Department today show that toxin levels are no longer a public health risk at Sylvan Beach. A “bloom” of blue-green algae resulted in a portion of Oneida Lake being closed to swimmers since last Thursday. The decay of the blue-green algae bloom resulted in elevated toxin levels at Sylvan Beach. These elevated toxin levels have dissipated and are no longer a public health risk.
“My first responsibility, and that of the Health Department, is to protect public health,” Picente said. “I am happy to be able to report that the County Health Department in consultation with the NYS Department of Health have determined that as of today the blue-green algae bloom has dissipated and cyanobacteria toxin levels are no longer a public health risk.”
The County Executive added that he wants visitors’ experiences at Sylvan Beach to be only positive ones.
“Blooms of blue-green algae are caused by a number of factors that include water and air temperature, wind direction, and the nutrient loadings of the lake.” Picente said. “The Health Department will continue to work closely with the Village of Sylvan Beach to monitor Oneida Lake for algae blooms. It is my understanding that the blue-green algae bloom at Verona Beach State Park has not fully dissipated at this time and they remain closed.”
Picente added that the public should feel free to contact the Oneida County Health Department if they believe a blue-green algae bloom is occurring or if they are experiencing an illness that they believe may be associated with an algae bloom.