Public Health




Blue Green Algae Update

UDPATE: Friday, August 18th:  The Red Jacket Park swimming area has been reopened.  



Blue-green algae occur naturally in bodies of water in low numbers. During prolonged hot weather algae can become abundant, discoloring water and forming scums-particularly in warm, shallow areas. Some blue-green algae produce toxins. These pose health risks to people and animals if exposed in large enough quantities. Symptoms of toxin exposure may include allergic reactions or eye, skin, nose, and throat irritation. Ingesting large amounts of water containing blue-green algae toxins has resulted in liver and nervous system damage in laboratory animals, pets, livestock and people.


People, pets and livestock should avoid contact with water that has scums on the surface or is discolored-blue-green, yellow, brown or red. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water. Swimming, bathing or showering with water not visibly affected by a blue-green algae bloom is not expected to cause health effects. If symptoms of toxin exposure develop, stop using the water and seek medical attention.


Individuals should not drink untreated surface water. Home boiling, disinfecting (chlorine or UV), and filtering do not remove algal toxins. When using surface water to wash dishes, rinse with bottled water. In addition to toxins, untreated surface water may contain bacteria, parasites or viruses known to cause illness.


For additional information, including information in Spanish, go to:






Contact Us

Deborah A. Minor, RN, MPH
Public Health Director 

Sara Christensen, RN, SPHN
Supervising Public Health Nurse

Joy Jensen
Principal Account Clerk

417 Liberty St. Suite 2021
Penn Yan, NY 14527                

Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm (closed 12-1pm)
Ph: (315) 536-5160 or 866-212-5160
Fax: (315) 536-5146

After Hours Emergencies
Contact the Yates County Sheriff's
Department at (315) 536-4438 and
ask for Public Health Staff on call.

About Public Health







417 Liberty St Suite 2021
Penn Yan, NY 14527
Phone: 315-536-5160 or 866-212-5160
Fax: 315-536-5146

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