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**Update as of July 15, 2019**
The health advisory is no longer in effect for Foster Arends Beach. Test results indicate no public health concerns.
Original Post from July 12, 2019
Olmsted County Public Health and the Rochester Parks and Recreation Department have issued a health advisory for Foster Arends Beach due to possible blue-green algae bloom and the presence of bacteria called cyanobacteria. The advisory was posted on July 12 as a precautionary measure. Blue-green algae blooms are harmful and can make humans and animals sick. Pets, especially dogs, are susceptible to harmful algae because they swallow more water while swimming and doing other activities like retrieving a ball from the water. Animals can experience symptoms within minutes of exposure to the toxins. Water samples have been collected and are being analyzed. While the health risk to humans swimming in the lake is low, the health advisory alerts the swimming public to the possible toxins that may be present in the lake at this time. The advisory will be removed when bacteria levels have returned to normal.
There is no way to tell if a blue-green algal bloom is toxic just by looking at it. Adults, children, and animals should avoid contact with water with blue-green algae. The risk of illness after a bloom goes away is low, however toxins can persist in the water after the bloom has cleared up. Watch for signs of recent blooms, such as green scum on the shoreline and keep pets from eating debris that has washed up on the shore. When in doubt, stay out! If you or your pet go into water where there may be a bloom, wash off with fresh water immediately afterwards.