FILE - algae bloom

There's a new warning about what's in the water in some lakes and ponds across the state of Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is spreading the word about blue-green algae blooms.

This is the time of year when the blooms start to appear in lakes and ponds.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Terri Holland said it's not hard to spot blue-green algae.

"Typically it can look like spilled paint. It can be a very deep dark-green or a blue-green color," Holland said. "Sometimes they produce a surface scum, mats, or films on the water. Sometimes they are little greenish globs that are suspended in the water."

Holland said blue-green algae can be bothersome for people, it can cause some skin problems. However, it can be much more dangerous for pets.

"It's something if it doesn't look right, if it looks bad to you, chances are it could be bad," Holland said. "We suggest you don't have direct contact with the water."

People who do come into contact with the algae should wash off with fresh water, Holland said. And people should never allow pets to drink the contaminated water.


An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.