This Week's Poll


Madison’s Lake Frances being tested for toxins

Staff Reports

Health Officer for the City of Madison Kimberly Allbritton released information, last week, that Lake Frances may contain toxins. Signs were reportedly posted at the lake.   

According to the release, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sampled surface water at Lake Francis for cyanobacteria (Blue Green Algae). An algal bloom has been reported to the Department of Health (DOH) on August 14, 2019. The water is being tested further for the presence of toxins. If toxins are detected by laboratory analyses, DOH will receive notification from the Bureau of Environmental Health with toxin concentrations and, if warranted, issue a Health Alert.

Signage to inform residents there may be toxins present in the water were reportedly posted last week. The information on the signs is included below.

Additional information:

Blue green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) can grow in many of Florida’s water bodies. Large concentrations, called blooms, can change the water color to blue, green, brown, orange or red. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Blue green algae can grow rapidly and sometimes form a foamy surface scum and an unpleasant odor. Because algae blooms can remove oxygen from the water, fish kills can occur.

Don’t swallow, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there are algae blooms. Algae blooms can cause ear, eye and skin reactions, hay fever and flu-like symptoms like diarrhea. Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae, discolored or smelly water.

Waters, where there are algae blooms, are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.

Don’t cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms.

Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

Fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms are safe to eat. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts, and cook fish well. Do not eat shellfish from this location.

Should anyone have questions please feel free to contact Kimberly Allbritton, Madison Health Officer at (850) 973-7140 or Florida Department of Health-Madison County, 218 SW Third Avenue |Madison, FL  32340
Office: (850) 601-6156.