The Richmond Register

Local News

October 31, 2013

Harmful algae expected to dissipate in colder temperatures

State division of water searching for source of growth

RICHMOND — While there are still harmful algal blooms growing in Lake Reba, the number of cyanobacteria can be expected to diminish if the winter is cold enough, according to the Kentucky Division of Water.

DoW Public Information Officer Allison Fleck said cool temperatures typically cause HABs to dissipate, thinning out the amount of algae floating on the surface of the water.

Fleck said there has been no significant change in the levels of algae in the lake since the HABs were first discovered two weeks ago. She said in other cases the DoW is studying, the blooms have been fed by fertilizers used on the ground in the area, which find a way to flow into the lake. The best way to stop the HABs from growing is to find the source of their growth and control it.

“The long-term solution is better agricultural practices,” Fleck said.

The existing algae in the lake isn’t dangerous enough to close the park, but there are awareness concerns the DoW has for some visitors, Fleck said. The first is that fish in the lake are likely to come into contact with the harmful bacteria, and people who fish there are encouraged to carefully clean and rinse whatever they catch. The second concern is for pets, specifically dogs, which may jump or swim in the water.

“While dogs may not directly ingest the algae, they are likely to get a coating of it on their fur that they will lick off later, and they ingest it that way,” Fleck said.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, the toxins in HABs are among the deadliest in the world and can cause neurological damage as well as liver or kidney toxicity.

HAB treatment takes time, and the water can’t be cleaned by putting something in the lake, Fleck said.

According to the CDC, cyanobacteria are photosynthetic and can live in terrestrial, fresh, brackish or marine waters. While they are usually too small to be seen, they can can form visible colonies that look like slicks of bright green, brown or red paint floating on the water’s surface, when other forms of algae grow exuberantly.
Harmful algal blooms occur when the amount of cyanobacteria in a water source is large enough to threaten people, animals or the environment. HABs can block sunlight and use up oxygen, killing other plants and animals in the water.

Fleck said the DoW is putting together a list of frequently asked questions, which will be available on the division’s website,, for anyone wanting additional information.

Seth Littrell can be reached at or 624-6623.



Text Only
Local News
  • 4-24 UKatWaco1.jpg Wildcats encourage Cardinals to work hard in school

    University of Kentucky student athletes Kastine Evans, a guard on the women’s basketball team, and Jon Hood, a guard on the men’s team, stopped by Waco Elementary School on Wednesday to talk about the benefits of working hard in school.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor, commissioner pay changed

    The Richmond City Commission approved 4-1 a new pay scale for the mayor and commissioners at a special-called meeting Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24 Lorenzo McWilliams.jpg Harrodsburg to get old Richmond police mobile computers

    Richmond is donating to the city of Harrodsburg eight of 39 old computers formerly used in police cruisers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 HOSAblooddrive.jpg Health science students organize blood drive

    Aside from the gift cards and free snacks, 50 Madison County high school students have other reasons for donating 35 pints of blood Wednesday to the Kentucky Blood Center at Madison Central High School.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Third student charged in dorm room robbery

    A third person, originally thought to be a robbery victim, was charged Wednesday in connection with an armed robbery that occurred March 30 on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus

    April 23, 2014

  • Bucher Family plant sale starts Friday

    The Bucher Family annual plant sale, a yearly tradition in Madison County for 15 years, will kick off Friday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23 Gravestone.jpg In search of the last resting place

    At a popular illegal dump site off Bybee Loop in Waco, two marble grave markers were among some items found there by Pat and Ronnie Aldridge, residents who live about 250 yards from the area.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fiscal court awards EMA bids

    Two more bids were awarded at Tuesday’s Madison County Fiscal Court meeting for the emergency operations agency.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23 Peter Crowe.jpg Intoxicated man charged with wanton endangerment

    A 27-year-old Richmond man was charged Sunday with second-degree wanton endangerment after he was found intoxicated and walking with several young children in the Keystone Drive area, according to a Richmond police report.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Absentee voting available for May 20 election

    Walk-in absentee voting for the May 20 primary has begun and will continue until May 19, County Clerk Kenny Barger announced Tuesday at the Madison Fiscal Court meeting.

    April 22, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results