Algae

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Toxic bacteria continue to pose a threat in Lady Bird Lake, according to recent city water testing. Austin's Watershed Protection Department says it's still finding toxic blooms of algae at Red Bud Isle, Barton Creek and downstream from Barton Springs Pool – and that it likely won't go away until mid-October.

An algae bloom near Red Bud Isle
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A toxic algae bloom at Lady Bird Lake is believed to be responsible for the deaths of a handful of dogs in the last three weeks. The algae, at least initially, cropped up around Red Bud Isle, but it has since spread to other parts of the lake. 

What is it and where did it come from? 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin says it has found potentially dangerous blue-green algae blooms at Auditorium Shores and Barton Creek downstream from Barton Springs Pool. The algae samples contain neurotoxins that are similar to those found earlier this month at Red Bud Isle, but the city says the concentration of neurotoxins is higher.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City officials say two separate samples of algae near Red Bud Isle have tested positive for traces of a neurotoxin, but samples in other parts of Lady Bird Lake were found to be "harmless."

Three dogs died recently after swimming in Lady Bird Lake.

flickr.com/hayesandjenn

A blue green algae bloom in Lake Austin may lead to “musty” or “earthy” smelling and tasting water for some Austinites says Austin Water, the utility responsible for city water treatment and distribution.

Jason Hill, a spokesman for Austin Water, said there is no way to know what parts of the city might receive the water, but that the strange smell does not effect its safety.

Austin Water discovered high levels of the algae in routine samples of the city's raw water. Hill said the company is adding powdered carbon to its treatment process to try and counteract the algae’s scent and flavor.

Photo courtesy jdearingdavis on flickr athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/hayesandjenn/4553357532/in/photostream/

Officials in Oklahoma have closed some of the state's lakes because of blue-green algae outbreaks. The fast growth of already-present algae, paired with high temperatures and still water, pose serious risk to swimmers.