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Energy & Environment

Low Levels Of Toxic Algae Still Being Detected In Lady Bird Lake

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Julia Reihs/KUT
Lady Bird Lake in 2018, before city officials were warning people to keep pets out of the water because of concerns about a toxin created by algae.

Low levels of toxic blue-green algae are still present in Lady Bird Lake. According to the Watershed Protection Department, which takes samples from the lake biweekly, there needs to be consistently cool temperatures and increased water flow before any major changes happen. 

The algae is more prevalent during the late summer and early fall months. Since July, blue-green algae or cyanobacteria has released neurotoxins into Lady Bird Lake, resulting in the death of at least five dogs. 

City officials are asking people not to let pets to swim in Lady Bird Lake or drink from it. Same goes for parts of Barton Creek near the lake. The algae is also potentially harmful to humans.

This Saturday, volunteers are scheduled to help pick up garbage and unwanted debris around Lady Bird Lake. 

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