WINNEBAGO - Several lakes in northern
Joseph Harmon and his friend Kadin were hoping to take a dip in the lake at the Westlake Subdivision after school on Tuesday. With temperatures soaring into the mid 90s in Winnebago, thank goodness the complex has a pool.
"It's the only thing we can do to cool off," said Harmon.
But the lake at
"Normally with rainfall, regular rainfall, you get a flush through that keeps [the algae] going on out the lake, but this year, no rain," said Eiss.
The three other lakes closed due to
the blue-green algae are
Blue-green algae can pose health risks from rashes due to skin exposure all the way to liver damage if ingested. The health risks can be worse for children because their lower body weight requires fewer toxins to get sick. Even breathing some of these toxins may make some people ill.
Eiss says he saw this algae problem coming, but there wasn't anything he could do to stop it.
"We were kind of warned of this early on because we did not have a severe enough winter or snowfall and spring rains to flush last year's [algae] out and so we've got some of last year and now all of this year compounded by the heat and no rain," said Eiss.
The Illinois EPA says there's a lack of funding for blue-green algae testing, so although they hope to be out to test these lakes toward the end of the month, that's not for certain. Due to this lack of funding the state says there may be other lakes out in the Stateline also experiencing this blue-green algae, but they just don't know because they haven't been able to test them.