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Local Medina County News

Chippewa Lake closed because of algal toxins


CHIPPEWA LAKE — The Medina County Park District announced Friday that Chippewa Lake is closed to the public until further notice due to high levels of algal toxins found from a water test conducted earlier this week.

The closure comes two weeks after a public health advisory was removed Aug. 25 after two consecutive weekly tests showed measurements below 6 parts per billion.

Ohio Department of Health guidelines require a public health warning to be issued when toxin levels reach 6 ppb. The warning recommends that children, pregnant or nursing women, individuals with certain medical conditions and pets avoid contact with the water. When toxin levels reach 20 ppb, an elevated recreational public health advisory is issued, stating all water contact should be avoided.

A Sept. 5 test showed algal bloom toxins at 20.02 ppb, which exceeds the state’s public health safety threshold.

This is the second consecutive year of toxins in the lake. An algal bloom was reported after July 4, 2016, and test results showed a continuing toxic bacteria increase from July 7 (0.315 ppb) to Sept. 15 (7.372 ppb).

The lake was closed in early October when levels hit 21.46 ppb and again Oct. 28 until the beginning of December. When toxin levels reach 20 ppb, the lake must be closed to the public. The toxins hit a high of 58 ppb on Nov. 10.

Toxins are a result of algal blooms that occur in bodies of water because of a combination of factors including water temperature, rainfall and nutrient runoff in the watershed. The Chippewa Lake algal bloom is the result of microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria. Its blooms can produce harmful toxins that may make people and pets sick when they come in contact with the water.

Closure notices have been posted at the beaches in the villages of Gloria Glens and Chippewa Lake, as well as at the public boat launch ramp. The red warning flag signaling lake closure has been raised at the boat ramp.

The park district has notified the mayor’s office in each village and the Medina County Health Department of the closure. Notices also will be posted on the park district’s website and social media pages.

The Medina County Park District said it will continue to monitor water conditions as needed. Public health warnings and lake closures remain in effect until two consecutive tests taken at least one week apart show levels have dropped below Ohio Department of Health thresholds.

The previous tests were:

  •  5.05 ppb for Aug. 22-25;
  •  3.52 ppb for Aug. 15-17;
  •  10.50 ppb for Aug. 8-11;
  •  6.18 ppb for Aug. 1-3;
  •  6.07 ppb for July 25-27;
  •  6.24 ppb for July 18-21;
  •  10.75 ppb for July 11-13;
  •  9.62 ppb for July 5-7;
  •  8.18 ppb for June 27-29;
  •  5.10 ppb for June 21-26;
  •  7.64 ppb for June 15-19;
  •  11.06 ppb for June 8-15, when the original warning was posted

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