Public warned about algal bloom in Chowan River

CHOWAN COUNTY, N.C. – North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality officials are asking the public to avoid contact with green or blue water in the Chowan River due to an algal bloom.

The bloom has lingered in the area since June 12. It extends from the eastern side of the river from the Arrowhead Beach area south to Edenton, then continues east until just beyond the N.C. Highway 32 bridge.

The algae has been identified as Anabaena, a member of the blue-green family of algae. The algae produces a strong, foul odor that can impact a large area.

The public is being encouraged to avoid contact with large accumulations of algae and prevent children and pets from swimming or ingesting water in an algal bloom.

State water quality and health officials suggest the following steps to safeguard pets and children from any algal bloom:
• Keep children and pets away from water that appears bright green, blue, discolored or scummy. Do not handle or touch large mats of algae.
• Avoid handling, cooking or eating dead fish that may be present.
• If you come into contact with an algal bloom, wash thoroughly.
• Use clean water to rinse off pets that may have come into contact with an algal bloom.
• If your child appears ill after being in waters containing an algal bloom, seek medical care immediately.
• If your pet appears to stumble, stagger or collapse after being