OKLAHOMA CITY – Testing has revealed the presence of blue-green algae at Lakes Hefner and Overholser, but Oklahoma City drinking water is still safe.
The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) tested water from both lakes earlier in the week. Blue-green algae is thick along the edges of both lakes. The substance has forced beaches at other Oklahoma lakes to close. It's bloomed rapidly this summer due to the heat wave, drought and stagnant water.
Lakes Hefner and Overholser are water sources for Oklahoma City residents. Blue-green algae can be toxic to both humans and animals, but the city says it will not affect people's drinking water. The water treatment process removes algae before delivering water to homes.
Swimming is not permitted at any of Oklahoma City's reservoirs, but people who participate in other recreational activities on the lakes, such as boating and water skiing, should take precautions:
Officials encourage people to avoid areas with visible algae accumulation. Oklahoma City's Water Quality staff has treated both lakes for algae and will continue to monitor the algae levels daily.
7/28/11 Related Story: Blue-Green Algae Still A Problem At Some Oklahoma Lakes