Officials: Toxin levels no longer a public health risk at Sylvan Beach

By WKTV News

SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. - Oneida County officials have announced that water samples collected by the Health Department today show that toxin levels are no longer a public health risk at Sylvan Beach.

A “bloom” of blue-green algae resulted in a portion of Oneida Lake being closed to swimmers since last Thursday. The decay of the blue-green algae bloom resulted in elevated toxin levels at Sylvan Beach. These elevated toxin levels have dissipated and are no longer a public health risk.

“I am happy to be able to report that the County Health Department in consultation with the NYS Department of Health has determined that as of today, the blue-green algae bloom has dissipated and cyanobacteria toxin levels are no longer a public health risk,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.

The County Executive added that it is the policy of the County, in making recommendations and issuing advisories, to always err on the side of protecting the public health of residents and visitors to this area.

“We want people to enjoy the lakes and beaches but not at the expense of exposing beachgoers to health risks,” he said.

“Blooms of blue-green algae are caused by a number of factors that include water and air temperature, wind direction, and the nutrient loadings of the lake.” Picente said. “The Health Department will continue to work closely with the Village of Sylvan Beach to monitor Oneida Lake for algae blooms. It is my understanding that the blue-green algae bloom at Verona Beach State Park has not fully dissipated at this time and that that area shall remain closed.”

Picente added that the public should feel free to contact the Oneida County Health Department if they believe a blue-green algae bloom is occurring or if they are experiencing an illness that they believe may be associated with an algae bloom.

The Oneida County Health Department can be reached at 315-798-6400

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