Algae Treatment at Milavec Lake

On Monday, July 19, the Town of Frederick found blue-green algae in Milavec Lake. The Public Works Department immediately contacted a company to address our concerns. We are taking the recommendation to prohibit all activities related to water contact: fishing, boating, wading, and animals in or near the water. Taking these precautions is the safest course of action as we conduct tests and apply necessary treatment. 

Signs are posted at the lake: 

picture of sign saying "algae treatment in process no boating fishing and waiting keep animals aw


What is Blue-Green Algae? 
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can multiply during the summer. The blooms thrive in slow-moving water bodies, such as lakes and ponds. Some cyanobacteria species can produce cyanotoxins during algal blooms, which can be harmful at elevated levels if ingested by dogs, wildlife and humans, or during wading and other recreational contact with water. The toxicity of a cyanobacteria bloom is difficult to predict because a single species can have toxic and non-toxic strains, and toxic strains do not always produce toxins. 

Why did this occur? 
This algae is common in shallow, warm water and water along shorelines that doesn’t have a lot of movement. We have all three things going on, as do most lakes. Blue-green algae is common in many lakes in the area throughout our region, and we are not alone in algae occurrence. Sometimes blue-green algae goes away without treatment at all.

When will treatment begin?
Treatment will begin Wednesday, July 21. After initial treatment is completed, the affected area will be retreated in 5-7 days, and then again 5-7 days after the second treatment. The treatments will occur only in the areas will the algae is present. 

Why aren’t we testing the water first? 
It is evident that this algae is blue-green algae, and no matter what stage the algae is in, the treatment would be the same. Testing would prolong the ability to treat this immediately.

Will treatment cause a fish kill?
The treatment itself does not kill the fish, but there could be some fish kill from the toxins in the blue-green algae. Since we are treating such a small part of the lake there should not be a large amount of fish kill.

How long will all activities related to water contact be prohibited at Milavec Lake? 
Until further notice. As more information becomes available regarding timing, it will be posted here.