Updated: Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009, 10:43 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009, 10:43 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - State Health department officials are warning Central Indiana residents not to swim in or drink the water at Geist and Morse Reservoirs. They say high levels of algae is present in the water and they're urging people to take precaution.
Geist Reservoir is packed every summer with swimmers and boaters having a good time. It's also a body of water that State Health officials say has high levels of Blue-Green Algae.
"Whenever the temperatures get warm like this it occasionally will happen in the water and its some we should be concerned with," Kyle Goff with the Department of Natural Resources said.
State Health officials say direct contact with the blue-green algae can cause skin irritation. If the water is ingested it can even cause liver problems.
"It's a condition they get every couple of years and when they test the water occasionally they'll find it," Goff explained.
Goff said people can stay safe by playing smart, "Stay away from ingesting the water as always, anyways as well as if you do go out boating take a shower and rinse off after you get out of the water."
"If I do go in the water I'm going to shower very good that's for sure," Alex Hotka said.
Hotka is out on Geist Reservoir about four times a week. He's not concerned about the warning.
"There is some concern, but I think my male aspect of me makes me a little less afraid, so I just like to go out there and have fun," Hotka said.
Eddie Brochin runs a charter fishing service on the reservoir. He is concerned about his business.
"It can have a negative impact on a charter fishing service for sure," said Brochin.
So, officials say if you play, do it at your own risk.
"Everyone wants to see a big scum line or something like that and that's not necessarily the case," Goff said.
A similar algae bloom is responsible for a large fish kill in the White River.
State Health officials also say it's a good idea to keep your pets out of the water as well.
In August of 2007 the same problem occurred at Geist reservoir when blue-green algae was found that summer. Health officials issued the same warning, no serious illnesses were reported.