LITH: Avoid Woods Creek Lake due to possibly toxic algae

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Recreational activity on Woods Creek Lake in Lake in the Hills should be avoided until further notice, according to the village.

The village and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency are in the process of addressing blue-green algae bloom in the lake. The bloom can produce toxins. Not all of the algae is harmful but the safest thing to do is treat each bloom as if it could be dangerous, according to the village.

People who come into contact with the toxic algae could develop a rash, nausea or other allergic reactions, according to the village. The algae can also be toxic to animals.

People should avoid activities such as swimming, boating and fishing in the lake.

The village and IEPA are monitoring the situation.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued a news release earlier this month that suggested conditions were favorable for the growth of this type of bacteria across all bodies of water in the state.

The algae are a naturally occurring organism and there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it, nor is there anything that can be done to treat its presence, according to the village.

Additional tests are being conducted to determine any toxicity, as well as the stage of the bloom to attempt to estimate how long it may be present on the lake.

People who come in contact with the water are encouraged to immediately shower, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any algae.