Dangerous algae found in Metro-East park

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by Lauren Traeger/ KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 20 at 10:01 PM

(KMOV.com) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has discovered elevated levels of an algae at Bicentennial Park in Belleville.

Now the city has posted signs telling people not to have any contact with the water.

“This is really a danger to them,” said Alderwoman Lillian Schneider.

Schneider said she was very alarmed to discover the signs recently.

The IEPA said tests had found elevated levels of a blue-green algae that releases dangerous toxins and can make people very ill.

Fish in the water could potentially also be harmful if eaten. With evidence of anglers all over the park, Schneider said not everyone is listening to warnings.

She wondered whether they should have closed the park altogether until the algae goes away.

Schneider said the park is becoming a liability to Belleville. She also said about the amount of debris and garbage in the water is worrisome, becoming a big money pit.

Officials said the algae can’t be treated, but recent tests show it may be dissipating. Authorities said the cold weather and rain will help it disappear.

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