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Season's first three toxic algal blooms appear in inland WNY waters

Harmful algal blooms in New York State, as of Friday. (New York State DEC)

The first trio of harmful blue-green algae turned up last week in Western New York, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation statement.

A small localized bloom of toxic algae was confirmed in Chautauqua Lake last Monday. Laboratory analysis confirmed the bloom as hazardous, the DEC reported.

In Java Lake, where harmful algal blooms are persistent during the summer months because of aging septic systems and agricultural runoff, a new large, localized bloom was reported last Tuesday. A laboratory analysis also confirmed it as hazardous, the DEC said.

A suspected small bloom of toxic algae was spotted in the Allegheny Reservoir last Wednesday. That report was made to the DEC by visual observation. It has not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.

Toxic blooms are typically fueled by runoff from farms, faulty septic systems and wastewater overflows that inundate waters with excessive nutrients, feeding the algae.

Following a wet spring season, like this past one, scientists find proliferations of toxic algal blooms during the warmer summer months.

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