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Algae in lakes near Menomonie causes health concerns

Folks in western Wisconsin have health concerns, as two lakes near Menomonie have their worst blue-green algae in years.

The state's health agency says people have mostly complained about sore throats and watery eyes from the stench on lakes Tainter and Menomin.

Carol Hake, who has lived on Lake Menomin for 46 years, says the odor is bad that she has to keep her windows closed.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said the health agency gathered air-quality samples from the area Thursday.

She said there have been no complaints of serious health problems yet. But there's a report that a dog died from it.

And Marquis says the blue-green algae can pose a variety of health problems like skin rashes, gastro-intestinal disorders and liver damage.

She says some people have problems breathing the air. But it's more dangerous to drink water contaminated blue-green algae.

And Marquis urges people and their pets to stay out of those affected lakes.

The DNR says it's a recurring problem, as phosphorus feeds the algae and the dry weather hasn't helped, either.