It's common for Lake Erie to have an algae bloom or two.

George Bullerjahn, a Bowling Green State University biology professor, found algae on Lake Erie.

He tweeted this photo of the sample collected 10 miles from the shore.

 

Environmental Engineering Professor Varun Kasaraneiei at Gannon University teaches high school students how to test the water for signs of bacteria and breaks down the cause of an algae bloom.

"Algae blooms are caused by excessive nutrients," Kasaraneiei said. "When we see these things it's really bad, you can't really swim in the water they release toxins that are bad for the liver."

Anyone can check for algae, too. All you need is a jar to collect the water in, fill the jar three quarters of the way, put the jar in the refrigerator and leave overnight.
The next day, when you check your jar, if the algae settled near the bottom that's a good sign, if it's still floating towards the top that's a good indicator that there is toxic algae bloom in your community.

"If you're not sure if there's an algae bloom happening in the water but if you notice some slight discoloration or a change in color don't let your children swim, don't let them swallow the water," Kasaraneiei said.

You can find more information on these test kits on the First Warning Weather tab of our website.