Blue-green algae harmful to pets, people found in Lancaster lake; county closes park

A popular fishing and recreation spot in Lancaster County has been closed after a blue-green algae that is harmful to pets and people was found in the water, officials said.

Bear Creek Park on South Potter Road is closed after cyanobacteria was found in the lake water adjacent to the park, said Steve Willis, Lancaster County administrator..

The park will remain closed until county and state officials from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control determine the water is safe for fishing and water sports, Willis said.

“The Parks and Recreation Department always has as their first priority the safety of our guests,” WIllis said.

Samples of the water are being tested again Thursday, officials said.

It remains unclear when the park will re-open.

Hal Hiott, director of Parks and Recreation, said the county posted signs that the park was closed and put up barriers to entry.

According to Lancaster officials with the Lancaster Coun ty Soil & Water Conservation District which has authority over watersheds, water in the lake was found to have bluish color believed to be caused by cyanobacteria.

According to the CDC, cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are microscopic organisms found naturally in all types of water.

“Cyanobacteria blooms may affect people, animals, or the environment by blocking the sunlight that other organisms need to live., according to the CDC.

A Fort Mill lake at the Anne Springs Close Greenway popular with pet owners was closed temporarily in 2019 after the algae was found there.

The algae also was found in other lakes in South Carolina and North Carolina in 2019, according to The State and Charlotte Observer.

Check back for updates.

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