PERU, Ind. - State officials are warning boaters and swimmers using a northern Indiana reservoir to take precautions when using the lake due to the presence of a toxic form of algae.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued a blue-green algae advisory Monday for Mississinewa Lake about 70 miles north of Indianapolis.
That means swimming and boating is still permitted but they should avoid direct contact with the algae, avoid drinking the water and take a shower after swimming because blue-green algae can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation and other ailments.
The DNR also recommends keeping pets out of the water or preventing them from drinking the water. Pets should also be bathed after swimming.
Livestock and pets can be poisoned by toxins produced by some algae blooms.
"We encourage people if they are in the water to take a shower or make sure they don't drink the water. It’s best to make sure pets don't drink the water. There is as much concern for dogs as there is for people at this level. Dogs are gonna drink the water no matter what. They want to get in and clean their fur off," said Ginger Murphy with the DNR.
Because the lake is under advisory, it will be tested biweekly until the algae levels drop. The next test is set for June 30.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management tests 14 beaches at 12 Indiana lakes on a monthly basis for blue-green algae during the summer.