The warm September has led to algae blooms on several Minneapolis lakes.
The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board said Wednesday two lakes — Lake Hiawatha and Lake Nokomis — are currently experiencing algae blooms and other lakes have the "right conditions" for potential blue-green algae blooms.
While most algae blooms aren't harmful, blue-green algae can make humans and animals sick because of the toxins they produce. But you can't tell the difference between the two by looking at them.
The parks board and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recommend that people and pets stay out of the water when algae scum are visible.
"Water conditions change quickly and scum is moved easily by wind, so it is not possible to post all locations where blooms occur," the park board said.
The park board noted fall algae blooms are "unusual," but they are becoming more common as the area becomes seasonally warmer on average.
"This is not a Minneapolis-only phenomenon. Other lakes in the metro and region are having the same issue," the park board said.
While rain over the next few days could help alleviate some of the algae blooms on area lakes, warm weather is expected to persist for the next week, which could keep lakes green.
To reduce your exposure to harmful algae, the MPCA suggests:
- Avoiding or minimizing the time you spend in or on lakes that appears to have blue-green algae.
- If you do come into contact with algae-laden water or scum, wash off with fresh water.
- Don't let animals swim or drink where there is algae in the water or scum on the shore.
The park board also is reminding people that dogs are not allowed in Minneapolis bodies of water, per park board ordinances.
You can check the park board's online beach map for updates on algae blooms here.