HOWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Summer is coming to an end, and so is the fun at the Manasquan Reservoir.
New signage has been put up by Monmouth County, telling the public to avoid the water due to a harmful algae bloom, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Wednesday.
Officials said a toxic level of green-blue algae was found last week. Baker spoke to one family at the reservoir’s visitors center that showed up ready to kayak, only to find out they couldn’t.
“That is important to know, but from what I’ve been hearing it’s not so much to humans but to pets,” a Toms River resident said.
The county put out a warning saying people should not drink or have contact with the water, including swimming, wading, and water sports. The warning goes for pets as well, as officials said the algae can be extremely dangerous to animals.
In addition, fish caught in the body of water should not be eaten.
Officials said the cynobacteria can cause skin rashes, digestive issues and eye infections in humans.
“If water gets on you we just advise you to take a shower as soon as you get home,” said Justin Garcia of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.
Officials are assuring residents in Ocean and Monmouth counties serviced by the reservoir through American Water that drinking water is safe. Baker spoke to Carmen Tierno, the senior director of operations for New Jersey American Water.
“Treatment plants that use water from reservoirs are designed and constructed in order to be able to treat the type of water that is in that reservoir, including algae. We monitor every step of the way to ensure that it meets all federal and state standards,” Tierno said.
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Out an abundance of caution, American Water said it is not drawing water from the reservoir.
“We have other sources around the region, including well water in Ocean County and other surface water treatment plants in Monmouth County,” Tierno said.
The Water Supply Authority said it put algaecide in the water last Monday and sampling has shown improvement.