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Algae tests find increased neurotoxins in more locations

Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Elizabeth Pagano

Testing has shown “increasing levels of neurotoxins in algae at a greater number of locations,” according to a city press release issued Wednesday. Samples taken Monday at Auditorium Shores, Red Bud Isle and below the Butler Hike and Bike Trail pedestrian bridge at Barton Creek contained greater amounts of neurotoxins than were present in previous tests. The city has maintained the closure of Red Bud Isle and is advising the public not to allow dogs to swim anywhere in Lady Bird Lake, or in Barton Creek where algae is present. The press release explains, “In addition to swimming, dogs should not be allowed to drink the water in these locations. People should avoid handling the algae and minimize their exposure to the water. Boating and paddle-boarding is still allowed at your own risk. Pets and people who come into contact with the water should rinse off. If symptoms develop, they should seek immediate medical attention.” The city has reiterated that drinking water is not impacted by the algae, and in a bit of good news, believes that Barking Springs remains safe. Though the situation is evolving, the algae will die when cooler temperatures return. Until then, questions can be answered at 311 or 512-974-2000 and information and updates continue to be posted at austintexas.gov/algae.

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