Is That Bacteria In The Lake? Know Before You Go.

Oklahoma is home to some of the most beautiful and largest lakes in the country. Many of us enjoy boating and swimming in these lakes. Before heading out we prepare food, pack our clothes and sunscreen and hit the road for a fun-filled vacation. However, an important step that is often missed is checking lake conditions. In the excitement of gathering and organizing things for our trip, checking the status of the lake water can often get over looked. Being unaware of the lake conditions could affect your entire trip.

All large bodies of water have natural hazards, such as blue-green algae. The spread of blue-green algae recently made headlines at lakes across the country as it is most common during the summer and fall seasons. Most lake algae are harmless, but blue-green algae is one that presents potentially harmful side effects.

Blue-green algae are bacterial organisms that live in fresh bodies of water. Water that is warm from heavy sun exposure, stagnant and contains high chemical levels produces larger amounts of blue-green algae. Exposure to the algae can cause the following symptoms:

·Tingling in the hands and toes

· Irritation and numbness to the face

· Dizziness

· Vomiting

These symptoms require immediate medical attention. Here are some important tips to keep in mind to keep you and your family safe from bacteria at the lake:

· Check lake conditions before getting near or in the water.

· If an area looks unsafe or algae-affected, refrain from swimming and boating in that area.

· Avoid swallowing lake water.

· Be sure to shower before and after any contact with lake water.

· Wash your hands with soap and wash before eating and drinking.

· If you are prone to getting eye and ear infections be sure to wear goggles and ear plugs.

· Have a first aid kit available to quickly attend to open wounds. 

For more information on Oklahoma lakes and water conditions, please visit //