Montgomery Parks officials are urging residents to use caution at Lake Needwood in Rock Creek Regional Park because of high levels of toxins found in the water.
Testing at the lake has shown high levels of a toxic substance called microcystin, which can cause serious harm to the liver of humans and their pets if ingested. The substance is produced by blue-green algae.
Park officials are urging residents to keep dogs on a leash and not allow them to drink or swim. Swimming is prohibited in the lake and residents are urged to wash their hands if they come in contact with the water. Fish caught from the lake should be properly cooked before eaten.
“We have posted signs around Lake Needwood and urge visitors to please pay attention to these precautions to avoid any harm from microcystin,” Jai Cole, Principal Natural Resource Specialist for Montgomery Parks, was quoted as saying in a press release. “Portions of the lake may be contaminated for the rest of the season. We will continue to monitor and update signs when the warning is lifted.”
Boating and fishing will remain open on the lake.
For more information and updates, visit MontgomeryParks.org.