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Lab results show levels of toxins dangerous for animals at Belton Lake

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Posted at 7:38 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 13:49:54-04

The Brazos River Authority said lab results show the bacteria containing cyanontoxin, or blue-green algae blooms, is present at Belton Lake.

At the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Brazos River Authority said they conducted testing for cyanotoxin, or blue-green algae blooms, on Belton Lake.

According to the Brazos River Authority, lab results received over the weekend show the bacteria containing the toxin is present.

Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell with the Bell County Health District released the following statement to 25 News:

"We have received the report of water and algal tissue samples from Lake Belton. I have reviewed the test results, and, while the levels of toxins are dangerous for animals, at these levels they do not pose a health risk for humans."

25 News also spoke to Clay Church with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who said people should just "be cautious" of the toxins at the lake.

"Samples of solid material, algae and decaying algae, contained significantly higher levels of cyanotoxin than was detected in the water," the Brazos River Authority said in a post Monday. "If consumed by pets, toxic blue-green algae can lead to severe illness or could be fatal."

It is suspected that the bacteria is responsible for the deaths of several dogs at Belton Lake this month, the BRA said.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials at Belton Lake issued a statement on March 8 urging pet owners to use caution after receiving reports that dogs have died after being on USACE property in Morgan's Point.

The BRA said they have reported the lab findings to the Bell County Public Health District and Texas Department of State Health Services and is awaiting further guidance from epidemiologists.

"Cyanotoxin is rare," the BRA said. "However, the BRA advises algae may be present at any time and that people and their pets should avoid playing in or eating algae, and stay away from stagnant water or water that has decaying matter in it."

To learn more about cyanobacteria and its effects, click here: https://epa.gov/cyanohabs