June 19, 2015

Campus Lake closed due to toxic algae

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is advising individuals to avoid skin contact with water in Campus Lake due to the presence of toxic algae. 

Human contact with the water can cause skin rashes. Animals swimming in or drinking the water may become ill, and the illness has the potential to be fatal. 

Kevin Bame, vice chancellor for administration and finance, said fishing and boating on the lake are temporarily banned. Area drinking water is not affected, he added.

The same type of algae led to the temporary closing of the lake last fall. The naturally occurring algae depletes the oxygen level of the water, a process that may cause fish and other animals and organisms in the water to die. 

The algae will dissipate, but the university cannot predict how long the lake will be closed, Bame said. Meanwhile, the university is posting warning signs around the lake. 

(More information: Contact Kevin Bame, vice chancellor for administration and finance, at 453-2474.)