Bacteria Water

City of Austin continues to use clay to reduce toxic algal blooms in Lady Bird Lake, KVUE

The city has a five-year pilot project to reduce the toxic algae growth in the lake. Officials believe that the treatments have been working so far.

AUSTIN (Texas) — Austin is preparing to treat Lady Bird Lake with clay for the second time in order to reduce algal growth.

The city has a five-year pilot project to reduce the toxic algae growth in the lake. Officials believe that the treatments have been working so far.

Clay treatments are used to stop harmful bacteria from growing, such as toxic blue-green alga. The crews test the growth in the lake. But just because it is there doesn’t mean that everything is bad.

The clay treatment blocks harmful bacteria, so some of the clumps are healthy plants.

“I think it’s working absolutely well in terms of nutrient control, which is what this is all about.” We’re encouraged with what we see in the secondary effects of the algae, Brent Bellinger, supervisor of the Conservation Program for the Watershed Protection Department.

Why officials urge keeping pets out of the lake

While swimming is not allowed at Lady Bird Lake (or anywhere else in the city), people who are kayaking, paddle boarding, or canoeing could be exposed to algae. Dogs are allowed off-leash in certain areas of the lake. They could get into the water, eat the algae and become very sick or even die.

It’s unfortunate to hear that dogs have died. Austin is a dog-friendly town, and we are trying to minimize the risk for humans. We monitor the water and continue to monitor the mats,” Bellinger explained.

The city must monitor the amount toxic algae in the water because, if it is too high, officials could have to stop recreational activities.

The second round of clay treatment was scheduled to begin at 9 am on Monday, 7/7, but due to concerns about the weather, the application has been postponed until Monday, 15/6. The final and third treatment of this summer is scheduled to take place in August.

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