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Blue green algae found in Belton Lake, experts warn to keep pets away

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 23:39:21-04

Many are ready to come to Lake Belton to swim, boat and more during the upcoming Independence Day weekend, but the Army Corps of Engineers wants to warn everyone that there are toxins in the water.

The Army Corps of Engineers say they found blue green algae producing toxins in Lake Belton. The same toxins which cost Delaney Presley’s six-month-old dog, Koda, his life.

“I still think about it all the time,” said Presley.

Koda died after drinking some of the water at Belton in March. Unfortunately, Presley did not know about the blue green algae until weeks later.

“I can’t even bring myself to go near bodies of water now. I just want people to listen more than anything did not have the mindset that it’s not gonna happen to them,” said Presley.

Belton Lake Manager Joshua Brown, with the Army Corps of Engineers, said toxins produced by the algae is harmful to animals and humans, but only if they drink it.

“What is toxic is a matter of dead algae that came up from the bottom of the lake, washed up the shoreline and you would see mats of it on the surface of the water,” said Brown.

Once you know what to look for, Brown said it is not that hard to spot.

“In the stagnant areas where it’ll blow and you’ll see almost like a green paint in the water, avoid those areas,” said Brown.

Brown said while locals are watching out for areas with blue algae toxins, they should also be looking out for flooding.

“While the water is coming down . . . you have to give a road to least 14 days to dry out," Brown said. "Otherwise, if we have traffic on those [paths] the road base is soft and it can cause lots of damage.”

Brown said that they have set up gates and barriers to close sections of Belton Lake in case of flooding; and that there will be a heavier police presence in the area to make sure everyone is safe while they have fun.