The Suffolk County Department of Health is cautioning residents to avoid the water in Lake Maratooka in Mattituck due to blue-green algae.
Analysis of surface water samples by SUNY Stony Brook confirmed the presence of new cyanobacteria blooms, which is most commonly known as the blue-green algae.
The health department notice says that “though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance.”
Contact with water that appears scummy or discolored should be avoided, the notice says. If contact is made, rinse off with clean water immediately. If any symptoms occur such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention.
Residents can report suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that does contain a Suffolk County-permitted bathing beach, contact the health department at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by email at [email protected].
A map of all affected fresh waterbodies in New York State can be found here.