Caution at Echo Lake - algae samples tested exceed safe standards

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An algae sample was collected at the center of Echo Lake on October 6, 2014.  It tested positive for 7.45 µg/L for microcystins.

The Washington State Provisional Recreational Guidelines recommend caution when microcystins are greater than 6µ/L. As a result of this sample, there is a Caution posted at Echo Lake until further notice.

Six algae scum samples have been tested for toxicity in 2014. This is the first sample to show an exceedance of Department of Health standards.

The public beach at Echo Lake Park is currently closed for park reconstruction but the wetlands at the YMCA location at the south end will be posted with a caution sign.


Janet Way October 14, 2014 at 8:02 AM  

Please note the reasons for toxic algae growth are often related to excessive usage of nitrogen fertilizers or other chemicals. The obsessions with green lawns by property owners near the lake may be the actual cause of this problem. The City should regulate these toxics near ANY of our water bodies. The wetland at the south end of the lake is one of the few positive areas on echo Lake which have a likelihood of improving the lake ecology. Homeowners nearby should practice better stewardship and the City should provide better education to these property owners, especially the apartment and commercial uses.

Wikipedia states the following about Microcrystins:

Microcyctins can be produced in large quantities during algal blooms and pose a major threat to drinking and irrigation water supplies, as well as the environment at large.[5][6]

Janet Way October 14, 2014 at 8:12 AM  

More information from Wikipedia on Microcrystins:

The article states that these algea can often be extremely dangerous and can cause liver damage. Some of these types of algea are the same as those found recently causing pollution episodes at Lake Erie.

Anonymous,  October 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM  

And it would be swell if the City of Shoreline could figure out an alternative to all the lawns they love - wildflowers along Aurora would be much more interesting than that swathe of unusable green grass.
Ditto the Shoreline School District. Too many lawn chemicals in use at school sites!

Anonymous,  October 22, 2014 at 2:17 AM  

Any suggestions for green lawncare articles or resources?

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