GRDA Discouraging Swimming In Grand Lake

Langley – Ahead of an emergency meeting of the Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors on Friday afternoon to discuss the issue of Blue Green Algae (BGA) in Grand Lake, the GRDA is advising the public to stay out of Grand Lake waters.

“We strongly discourage any body contact with the water at this point,” said GRDA Corporate Communications Director Justin Alberty. “That means no swimming or any other activities that would bring you into contact with lake water.”

The reason behind this advisory is due to the rapidly changing conditions of the BGA levels and areas in the lake, added Alberty. Earlier in the week, BGA was confirmed in several locations of Grand Lake. After further monitoring, it appears there is the potential for the algae to be in all the major coves and areas of the main lake.

“Test results from late yesterday (Thursday) afternoon showed BGA toxicity at higher levels than before, and this is a situation that continues to develop rapidly. We strongly discourage anyone from getting into the lake at this point.”

BGA are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams, usually in low numbers. However, the algae can become abundant in shallow, warm water that receives heavy sunlight. While most BGA are not toxic, toxins can be produced in some algae blooms. That is what has occurred on Grand Lake and continues to develop.

“Both the GRDA Ecosystems Department and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality have monitored this issue for several days, and its safe to say that it has rapidly progressed, even in the last 24 hours,” said Alberty.

The GRDA Board of Directors will be briefed on the lake conditions during the special meeting, at 1:30 PM Friday afternoon, in Tulsa. At that time, it will discuss the other alternatives for dealing with the Grand Lake BGA issue.

For more information on BGA, visit GRDA.com or www.deq.state.ok.us.