For the first time, Big Green Lake’s water has been tested for blue-green algae.

   According to a harmful algal blooms toolkit document on the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services website, blue-green algae, also known as “cyanobacteria,” is photosynthetic bacteria that often is responsible for harmful algal blooms in Wisconsin lakes and rivers.

   The bacteria can produce toxins, such as liver and neural toxins, making blue-green algal blooms dangerous to humans and pets.

   Because such toxic algal blooms are a health hazard and can pose a problem for the lake, Green Lake Sanitary District decided to partner with the Green Lake Association to test the water for blue-green algae.

   “There’s a lot of DNR people that work around the lake from time to time, and there was some question whether we’ve had blue-green algae blooms in the lake before,” Green Lake Sanitary District Administrator Lisa Reas said. “I don’t believe there’s any that my predecessor Charlie [Marks] was aware of, but one thing that we did decide to do was actually a little bit of sampling and testing for it this year.”

   She explained the district and the association are splitting the cost of the sampling and testing, noting “it’s actually a little pricey; we’re into over $1,000 on this, but we feel it’s important to double check.”

   Read the full story, including other efforts the district and association are undergoing to help the lake, in the July 25, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.