Water Quality Advisory: Big Butternut Blue Green Algae

Big Butternut Lake in Polk County is experiencing extensive blue green algae blooms which are capable of producing toxins that can be dangerous to humans and pets. Exposure to blue green algae can produce the following symptoms in pets and humans: stomach cramps; diarrhea; vomiting; fever; muscle weakness; difficulty breathing; and seizures. Extreme cases of exposure can lead to liver failure, respiratory failure, and death.

For your safety if water is cloudy, looks like green paint or pea soup, or has a floating scum layer or floating clumps: do not swim or swallow water; do not allow pets to swim or drink; and do not allow children to play with scum layers even from the shore.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to exposure, contact your doctor or the Poison Information Hotline immediately (800-222-1222). For more information visit www.polkcountyhealthdept.org or to report a blue green algae bloom in Polk County please contact the Health Department (715) 485-8500 or the Land and Water Resources Department (715) 485-8699.