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Posted on: July 12, 2021

Update - Nov. 19, 2021 LCRA issues update on Blue Green Algae monitoring

Monitoring of potentially toxic blue-green algae began July 1 at 16 additional sites in the five upper Highland Lakes, the Lower Colorado River Authority recently announced.  Officials urge people to avoid contact with the algae while in the lakes and prevent dogs from touching or ingesting water in the Highland Lakes.

Nov. 19, 2021, Update:  LCRA testing in October and November did not detect toxicity from blue-green algae in lakes Buchanan, Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls or Travis. Toxicity was last detected in the Highland Lakes in June, when small amounts of cyanotoxins were determined to be present in the algae, but not at quantifiable levels. 

LCRA continues to urge people and pets to avoid contact with algae in the lakes. “These tests did not detect toxicity recently, but there is always a chance algae can begin producing toxins without any visible signs,’’ said John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water. “Our recommendation is to stay on the safe side and just avoid contact with algae.” 

This testing was conducted using Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking (SPATT), which involves using small mesh bags filled with resin that are deployed in the lakes for up to a month at a time. The resin adsorbs any toxins in the water surrounding the bags while they are in the water. The resin is then tested for blue-green algae toxins in a laboratory. The City of Austin conducts testing in Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake. 

Updates and additional information on blue-green algae are available on the LCRA website.

Additional information regarding LCRA monitoring
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