Harmful Algae Bloom Affects Another NJ Lake

Report of cyanobacteria levels 10 times greater than state’s health standard at Greenwood Lake; residents advised to take precautions

Credit: NJTV News
Algae bloom
A cyanobacteria bloom has infected another New Jersey lake.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is advising residents to avoid swimming or coming in contact with the water in Greenwood Lake after aerial surveillance confirmed the presence of a harmful algae bloom.

A water sample from one area of the 9-mile-long lake, which stretches from Passaic County into Orange County in New York State, registered cyanobacteria levels 10 times greater than the state’s health standard.

Exposure to the blooms can cause reactions including skin rashes and eye irritation, while ingesting contaminated water could lead to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Recreational boating and fishing are not restricted, but the DEP says fish caught in the New Jersey portion of the lake should not be eaten.

An algae bloom was first spotted in Lake Hopatcong last month. While the DEP says there is no scientifically sound treatment to eliminate the green growth, two buoys have been deployed in the main lake to monitor the water quality and help confirm when the lake water is safe again for people and pets.

“We share the frustrations of local residents, business owners and leaders about the widespread extent of this bloom and the impact it is having on the health of Lake Hopatcong and the local economy,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe. “These buoys will help us to better understand what is causing the harmful algal blooms and may help us predict conditions that may cause future blooms.”